Tesco Launches New “Food Waste Hotline”

Tesco has launched an innovative, online “food waste hotline”, to help make it easier for suppliers and growers to pinpoint ongoing food waste hotspots, and work with the retailer in tackling them.

The “hotline” is accessible to all Tesco suppliers via the retailer’s online Supplier Network, a resource used by over 5,000 Tesco partners regularly. The hotline will serve as a new link between these businesses and Tesco Product teams, and will enable them to alert Tesco to potential supply chain food waste and work together to take action, the retailer says.

Supply chain food waste accounts for a significant proportion of UK food waste. Tesco says it is committed to helping halve all UK food waste by 2025 and currently works closely with suppliers to reduce food waste where it occurs.

“The ‘food waste hotline’ is another little help we are making to achieve this with our suppliers. It helps our suppliers gain direct, easy access to our Product teams, and this will enable us to identify food waste hotspots and systemic issues and work in partnership to tackle them.”

For instance, last summer’s weather meant a warmer period than forecast and as a result the strawberry crop all ripened at the same time. Tesco’s response was to take the whole crop and introduce large boxes of strawberries to stores at a market leading price – helping customers and avoiding food waste on farm.

The hotline will provide another way for this to continue, while enabling Tesco to work directly with suppliers to identify emerging as well as the more long term food waste issues they face.

Matt Simister, Commercial Director, Fresh Food and Commodities at Tesco, said: “At Tesco, we have no time for waste, and we are committed to reducing food waste wherever it occurs, from farm to fork.

“The ‘food waste hotline’ is another little help we are making to achieve this with our suppliers. It helps our suppliers gain direct, easy access to our Product teams, and this will enable us to identify food waste hotspots and systemic issues and work in partnership to tackle them.”

Tesco has made a commitment that no surplus food will be wasted in its UK operations by the end of 2017.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis chairs Champions 12.3, a coalition of leaders from government, business, research and civil society. This group is dedicated to accelerating progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Target 12.3. – to halve per capita global food waste at retail and consumer level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030.


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