NewsTesco continues its fight against food waste

After publishing its food waste data for financial year 2017/18 in May, Tesco CE organised its fourth Central European Food Waste Conference on 7th June bringing together stakeholders from the non-profit, public and private sector to debate possible solutions to food waste. Each year, this conference takes place in one of the four CE countries in which Tesco operates, this time in Warsaw, Poland.

The conference offered a complex picture of the issue to emphasise the gravity of the problem. Food shortage currently puts at risk some 1.3 billion people and food waste is responsible for 8% of green-gas emissions worldwide. Yet the amount of food Europeans alone throw away each year could feed up to 200 million people. Also all food that is being wasted is grown on 30% of world agricultural land that is consequently exploited for nothing. More effective food surplus redistribution and food waste management can therefore help solve both world hunger and protect the environment.

The participants of the conference emphasized the need for closer collaboration between suppliers and retailers, building solutions to encourage customers to act on food waste. One of the best examples it this area is Tesco’s “Perfectly Imperfect” range of fruit and vegetables, that helps to reduce farm waste by delivering less regular and repeatable products, offered to customers in lower prices.

“One of the conclusions of the conference was that to fight food waste we need to measure it first, so that we can learn where the waste originates from, and set targets to reduce its volume”, said Matt Simister, Tesco CE CEO. “Last month we published our own CE food waste data, and the significant reduction of 30% year on year proves this is the right approach. We encourage retailers and producers across the region to measure and act on food waste”, he adds.

In the Czech Republic, Tesco sold 651,575 tonnes of food in 2017/2018 which generated 13,245 tonnes of surplus. Thanks to a long-term cooperation with Czech food banks and zoos, 3,016 tonnes of this food surplus were donated for human consumption for people in need or as animal feed. This represents a 10% reduction of Tesco CZ food waste year on year and a significant increase of 156% in donations compared to 2016/2017.

You can read the full report on Tesco Food Waste in the Czech Republic here