Tesco pledges to halve food waste by 2025


Tesco says it has accelerated plans to halve food waste in its operations by 2025 and aligned executive pay performance targets to “key” sustainability measures, including reducing food waste.

The supermarket chain says it has already achieved a 45% reduction in food waste across its operations against the 2016/17 baseline and only 0.35% of the food it handled, last year, ended up as waste.

To meet the target, Tesco says it has developed a plan that will continue investment in its existing food surplus redistribution programmes, including partnerships with FareShare and OLIO, to ensure even more surplus food is diverted to people who need it most.

The retailer says it will also expand its supplier partnership programme, to further help suppliers to reduce food waste in a variety of ways, including stocking ‘wonky’ fruit and veg, working with suppliers to manage bumper crops; and helping suppliers distribute surplus food to local communities.

The plan also sets out the diversion of more surplus food (that cannot go to humans) to suppliers who can utilise it as animal feed; as well as the continued development of “innovative new solutions”, such as testing how food waste can be fed to Black Soldier Flies to create protein, which has the potential to be used as an alternative to soy animal feed.

We have long called for Government to introduce mandatory food waste reporting to help measure and judge if real action is happening.

The retailer says this means that 25% of the Performance Share Plan awards Executive Directors receive will depend on Tesco’s progress on key sustainability measures including gender and ethnicity representation, carbon reduction and food waste reduction in its operations.

Tesco says its partnership with leading food redistribution charity FareShare has been key to the business’s success. When Tesco first launched its food surplus redistribution programme in 2016, it says 11m meals were donated. Last year it was nearly 26m. Already, a total of over 140m meals have been donated to thousands of charities and community groups since the scheme began, Tesco says.

Tesco Group CEO, Ken Murphy, said: “While I’m proud of our progress in making sure good food doesn’t go to waste, we know there’s still more work to do. By accelerating our target to halve food waste in our operations by 2025 and aligning executive pay performance targets to this goal, we hope to drive further transformative change.

“However, the work we and our suppliers do won’t tackle the issue alone. We have long called for Government to introduce mandatory food waste reporting to help measure and judge if real action is happening. Action must be taken across the whole industry.”

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