Reducing food waste

Food waste

Leading in reducing food waste globally working with our producers and suppliers and helping the customers we serve to find ways to reduce food waste.

Why it matters

Our food system is coming under increasing pressure and there are already significant concerns around global food security

Find out why it matters

Our approach

Developing a core programme to tackle food waste in our own operations and with our suppliers and customers

Find out about our approach

Download 2013/14 half year update PDF 0.38MB

Where food is wasted

Around a third of all food grown worldwide may be lost or wasted across the value chain – most notably in agriculture, in the supply chain and with customers. This breakdown will vary by market with greater

agricultural and supply chain losses in middle and lower income countries. The infographic illustrates where food waste occurs in the value chain for goods produced for and consumed in the UK.

Total waste along the value chain - 32%: Agriculture and supply chain - 16%, Retailer - less than 1%, consumer - 16%

Source: WRAP UK, 2009/10 data. Percentages denote amounts of food wasted as a proportion of that produced for UK consumption.


Agriculture and supply chain

Food losses can occur on farm and in the supply chain for a variety of reasons including weather, disease and pests, problems during storage and changes to product orders. We are committed to working closely with our producers and suppliers to help identify causes of waste and find ways to prevent this happening.



We run a number of initiatives in our own operations to stop food going to waste such as reducing the cost of products close to their sell by date. We make sure that any surplus food is well managed and send as much as possible to charities helping those in need. We are now in the process of rolling out our best practice in the UK to the rest of the Tesco Group.



Recent research has shown that half of Tesco customers throw away food because they are unaware it has passed its expiry date. One third of customers told us they regularly cook more than they mean to and a quarter admit they struggle with how to use up leftovers. We are committed to finding ways helping our customers to reduce food waste in the home and save money in the process.


  • More transparent about waste across the value chain
  • Minimising waste in our own operations
  • Working in partnership with producers and suppliers and helping our customers
  • Food surplus, where possible, goes to charity

See how we are starting to deliver on these new commitments


We are going to measure the food waste associated with a typical Tesco shop through our Scale for Good Scorecard

Find out how we will measure our performance

Latest news

Latest updates

24 March 2014

New egg packaging helps to reduce food waste

Over the last eight weeks we have been trialling a new type of plastic egg packaging in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Read more

19 February 2014

No Opportunity Wasted

Speaking at the ‘No Opportunity Wasted’ conference on 6th February, Tesco’s Head of Food Waste Reduction, Mark Little, presented new insight into how we are reducing food waste.

Read more

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