Tesco Exchange is an online marketplace that matches suppliers with too much product to other Tesco suppliers that need it – for example, crops, by-products, ingredients or packaging. The retailer expected the savings in production costs – and reduction of food waste – would ultimately benefit customers too.
The amount of food saved from becoming waste continues to rise significantly but nearly 200,000 tonnes of good food still go to waste each year in the supply chain, climate action NGO WRAP revealed earlier this year.
One food manufacturer that has already made use of the platform is G’s Group, which supplies pickled beetroot to Tesco. The manufacturing process leaves the producer with tonnes of beetroot peelings that could be used by a livestock farm as cattle feed.
Sarah Bradbury, Tesco quality director, said: “Excess stock or waste for one supplier could be a valuable commodity to another. By linking different farmers, producers and manufacturers together, our suppliers can find new ways to trim their bills, reduce waste, and keep delivering great value for our customers.”
Buy and sell
Suppliers can advertise surplus stock for sale on Tesco Exchange, post requests for things they need and agree sales between each other. They can also set alerts for when items they need are posted.
Dr Julian Parfitt, Technical Director at Anthesis – developer of Tesco Exchange – added: "Tesco Exchange is a great example of an initiative that the food industry needs to embrace and support in order to directly address commitments on food waste, the circular economy, and move towards more sustainable and resilient supply chains.”
Meanwhile, Andy Lewis, retail and operations director at surplus food redistribution expert Company Shop Group, discusses the need for businesses to reconsider the stock that they currently have tied up in expensive third party warehouses ahead of Christmas.