4 July 2014

App supports food donations in Ireland

Food cloud launch Aoibheann O'Brien and Iseult Ward, founders of social enterprise foodcloud and Christine Heffernan, Corporate Affairs Director Tesco Ireland

Earlier this week Tesco Ireland and foodcloud announced a ground-breaking partnership that will see all surplus food from Tesco’s 146 stores redistributed to charities and community groups through the use of foodcloud’s innovative app.

To support this initiative, foodcloud and Tesco are calling on charities and community groups from across the country that could benefit from receiving surplus fresh food products to register on foodcloud.ie. foodcloud, a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food to community groups and charities, was recently set up by two young social entrepreneurs, Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien.

The announcement follows a successful foodcloud pilot programme in 18 Tesco stores, which ran from October 2013 to February 2014 and saw Tesco donate almost 60,000 meals or 27 tonnes of food to 38 charities. Since partnering with foodcloud, Drogheda Homeless Aid has been able to reduce its weekly food costs by an average of 30%.

Commenting at the launch, foodcloud CEO Iseult Ward said: "We have come up with a fast and efficient solution to bring businesses and charities within the same communities together to make sure that no good food goes to waste. The scale of our partnership with Tesco is unprecedented – on a daily basis we will now have access to all of Tesco’s surplus food to donate to the charities we work with. This is a really important partnership that will make an incredible difference to local communities. We are currently developing a national database of charities and community groups to receive this food and call on any interested groups to register on foodcloud.ie."

Video

Christine Heffernan, Corporate Affairs Director Tesco Ireland, said: "Even in the most efficient retail operations, there will inevitably be food surplus and we are delighted that through foodcloud’s innovative app, we will be able to donate all our surplus food on a daily basis to people that need it. We are delighted to be the first retailer to commit to redistributing all surplus food from all our retail stores and believe that through our partnership with foodcloud, we will be able to make a valuable contribution to local communities." 

John Walker, Duty Officer at Drogheda Homeless Aid, said: "The link with foodcloud has contributed to a lessening of the pressure that we would normally operate under in relation to our food services. We have been able to reduce our weekly food costs by about 30% which has freed up scarce resources for other requirements." 

In May 2013 Tesco made 'reducing food waste' one of the three big ambitions which underpin its business value "we use our scale for good." If you are a business that has surplus food or a charity that could benefit from food donations register your interest on foodcloud.ie

 
22 May 2014

Reducing our Grape Waste

By establishing waste profiles for grapes this year, we know that 20% of grape production is wasted at various points in the value chain. 

Of that waste, around a third is lost in fields and almost two thirds is wasted in customers’ homes.

In order to help reduce this waste we are shortening the supply chain. This reduces the scope for grapes to be left to rot in fields or to go to waste in customers’ homes.

There are two parts to our work:

1. We have guaranteed in advance that we will buy at least 80% of grapes from our suppliers. This means that suppliers are better able to forecast demand and are less likely to end up with unsold grapes.

2. As a result of this change, we have been able to cut out a stage in our distribution chain and reduce the time grapes taketo arrive in the UK. This means that the code life on the product is increased, and in some cases we are giving customers an extra 10 days of freshness.

We are significantly increasing the volume of products moving through our supply chain in this way, from five million cases two years ago to 14 million cases this year. In addition to grapes this includes products such as apples, pears, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Watch the video here:

Video

 

 
22 May 2014

The Produce Revolution

We have been working to significantly improve the variety, quality and value of the fresh fruit and vegetables we offer our customers.

A key aspect of this is to make it much easier for customers to reduce food wastein their own homes, which according to WRAP data is as high as 15% offood produced.

As part of the programme we are:

  • Re-designing produce packaging to include facts around food waste on key packs, as well as tips about reducing waste. These will be aligned with WRAP’s Love Food, Hate Waste Campaign
  • Introducing new in-store greengrocers to assist customers and training for all colleagues working in produce on the correct storage advice for fruit and vegetables in the home and tips about leftover usage
 
28 April 2014

Food waste competition in Poland cuts waste in over 50% of schools

In October 2013 we launched the 11th edition of the Tesco for Schools education programme in Poland. This year’s programme has been dedicated to the problem of food waste. Over 6,000 school children from across the country took part, learning about food waste and finding ways to tackle it.

As part of the project, Tesco worked with the Federation of Polish Food Banks to organise a film competition called "A talent not to waste". After learning about responsible food management the school children were asked to make a two-minute film which encourages others not to waste food.

This was a great way of getting the children to think about this important problem and to present their own solutions in a fun and creative way.

More than 580 films from schools across the country were entered into the competition. The winning films were chosen by online voting (an incredible 1,687,635 votes were cast) as well as a panel of experts, including representatives from the Federation of Polish Food Banks and the British Council. The winning schools received prizes including multi-media equipment and interactive white boards.

Watch one of the winning films here:

Video

 

Waste reduction in over half of schools

Following the competition, Tesco Poland carried out research to evaluate the impact of this year’s Tesco for Schools programme. Encouragingly, the research showed that as a result of programme, over 50% of participating schools reported a decrease in the amount of food wasted by children.

One of the most common ways of bringing about this change was simply raising awareness of the issue with school children and their parents – teachers in participating schools, for example, devoted around twice as much class time to the issue of food waste than those elsewhere in the country.

Eating meals together, keeping an eye out for children throwing away food and controlling the range of snacks sold at school shops were other ways that food waste was reduced.

The Tesco for Schools programme has been supporting Polish education since 2002. The latest edition supports the Think.Eat.Save food waste campaign launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2013.

We are delighted that so many schools have participated in the video competition and that we have been able to raise the profile of this important global issue with the next generation.

 
23 April 2014

Tackling food poverty in Ireland

In Ireland, as in many rich world countries, food poverty is a serious problem for a significant minority of people. According to some estimates, as many as 600,000 in Ireland do not have enough money to afford a regular healthy diet and 21% of children go to school hungry. Yet at the same time huge quantities of edible food are wasted or thrown away every day. 

That’s why, as part of our efforts to reduce global food waste and to support our local communities, we are working with Bia Food Bank, an Irish charity formed in 2012. In addition to a grant of €60,000 we have committed to give the charity all of the surplus fresh food from our distribution centres. Bia Food will then store the food in a warehouse in Cork before distributing it to local residents.

The pilot in Cork is the first of what’s set to be a nationwide roll-out of food banks. Working in collaboration with an Irish charity called St Vincent de Paul, Bia Food plan to open another food bank in Dublin by the end of the year with other banks to follow in 2015.

Food waste app

In Dublin we are also working Foodcloud, a social enterprise founded by students from Trinity College Dublin, to distribute surplus food from our stores.  

Foodclouds

By using a free app designed by Foodcloud, our store colleagues across Dublin are able to tell local charities the type and amount of food that’s available from a particular store and a convenient time for it to be collected. Details of the available food are sent to the relevant charity via text message, who can then inform our colleagues if they want to pick up the food from the store.

The app means that a range of different charities can benefit from our surplus food, whether they are providing 120 meals once a day or feeding eight people three meals a day.  

Since the pilot began in October 2013 Foodcloud have facilitated the donation of over 18,000 meals from our stores in Dublin. The app is a great example of innovative technology helping to reduce both food waste and food poverty. We are now looking to work with Foodcloud to offer this service in other cities across Ireland.

 
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.

The packaging will help to reduce waste as any seepage resulting from broken eggs is contained within a single pack and does not damage those beneath it.

Eggs

As the UK's largest egg retailer, we hope that this innovation will help to significantly reduce the amount of eggs that are wasted each year. If rolled out for all of our free-range eggs we estimate that it will save on average more than one million eggs each year.

The packgaging is recyclable and is made from old plastic bottles, so it's environmentally friendly too.

Emma Marsh, Head of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, said: “We’re always very pleased to see packaging innovations that save perfectly good food from going to waste. Eggs are such a versatile ingredient and can bring together so many ingredients to make a tasty dish so it’s great to see that more will be reaching the homes of shoppers who can make the most them.”

The results of the trial have been very positive and we hope to be able to roll out the packaging nationwide by the end of the year.

 
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.

The conference, which was held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London and sponsored by the Dutch Embassy, brought together some of the leading authorities in the fight against food waste, including WRAP, Fareshare and the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

ConferenceTesco has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce food waste. Since May 2013 we have been working with our producers and suppliers to find out exactly where food waste arises for 25 of our most regularly purchased items. This has helped us establish waste ‘hotspots’ for each product and to develop targeted waste reduction action plans.  

In the case of grapes, for example, we know that by far the biggest proportion of waste occurs in the customer’s home. That’s why one of our priorities has been to shorten the time it takes to get grapes from the farm to the supermarket shelf so that customers have longer to eat their grapes before they go soft (and are thrown away).

One way that we have done this is by fixing orders, for example promising our grape suppliers that we will take at least 80% of their harvest no matter what. Not only is this good news for our suppliers’ business but it means that they can now send their grapes directly to Tesco distribution centres rather than first ‘buffering the supply’ in UK storage facilities. As a result we add up to two days extra freshness for grapes from Europe.  

This is just one of the ways that we are turning the insight we have gathered on where food waste occurs into real action to reduce waste. 

For more information on the conference check out #foodwasteconf14 on Twitter.

 
8 November 2013

Experts discuss the solutions to food waste

Yesterday, The Guardian published a report of the roundtable that they hosted with us looking at different solutions to the global challenge of food waste.

The roundtable was attended by experts from industry, research organisations and NGOs, all of whom agreed that the problem of food waste has become more urgent. The discussion covered a lot of different areas, but one things was very clear – to make a long-term difference we have to build the right partnerships with everyone involved in this issue – farmers, customers, campaigners and policymakers.

Read the online version of the report

 

 
31 October 2013

Food Bank Road Show in Hungary

Pop-up kitchens have appeared in 25 of our stores in Hungary as part of our Food Bank Road Show.

Chefs and volunteers gave cooking demonstrations showing customers how they can use up leftovers and discussed how we can reduce food waste in our own homes. Customers also got to taste the meals that were prepared infront of them.

As well as sharing ideas and tips we highlighted the important work that Food Banks do across the country and let customers know how to get involved.

Hungary Food Bank Road Show

 

 
21 October 2013

Using our scale for good - 2013/14 half year update

This half year update highlights some early progress we have made against our scale for good ambitions and sets out our direction of travel. Have a look and let us know what you think.

Download 2013/14 half year update PDF 2.59Mb

Half year update PDF

 
21 October 2013

Expert Advisory Panel

We have established an external advisory panel to work directly with our CEO, Phillip Clarke. This panel will be critical in helping us to shape the strategic direction of our work, in providing an honest assessment of our performance and in challenging us to do more.

Download more information about our Expert Advisory Panel (PDF 80KB)

Advisory panel

 
9 October 2013

Tesco for Schools campaign launches in Poland

This month our team in Poland launched their Tesco for Schools 2013 campaign.

The focus this year will be on inspiring and equipping young people with the right skills and knowledge to be able to live healthier lives and reduce food waste.

Using the knowledge we have gained from successful previous campaigns, this year we will be running a six month contest with children across Poland to help educate them to be conscious consumers. Every school willing to take part in the contest has to make a short movie about food waste problem and how to tackle it. The winners will be chosen in on-line voting and by special Jury. To boost the competition we will propose additional contests and games for schools, e.g. events on World Food Day and in school newspapers

Almost 300 schools have registered already and our Community Champions have visited 90 schools.

We are really excited about this year’s campaign and are looking forward to working with young people right across Poland to help them reduce food waste and live healthier lives.

 

 
9 October 2013

Top tips for customers to reduce food waste

One of our three big ambitions is to lead in reducing food waste globally. We are working hard to drive efficiencies in our own operations, we're working with our suppliers and producers and we want to help our customers to reduce food waste in their homes.

We have just launched a new section of our real food website which provides information, tips and advice on how customers make the most of the food that they buy and in doing so save money.

There are videos, recipe ideas, top storage tips and much more.

Visit the website and have a look around.

 

 

 

 
17 September 2013

Feeding 1k event in the Czech Republic

Last week, hundreds of residents in Prague queued in the city’s famous Wenceslav Square to receive a free lunch of vegetable curry made entirely from either donated or surplus food.

The Feed One Thousand event was supported by Tesco, and organised by Save Food, a group that campaigns to combat food waste in the Czech Republic. The ingredients used to make the curry  consisted entirely of food that was either donated, or surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Our team in Prague proudly supported the event by donating essential ingredients, as well as surplus food such as rice and lentils. In total over 1000 meals were prepared.

Our ambition is to lead in reducing food waste globally. A key part of this is our commitment to doing even more to minimise waste in our own operations and reduce food waste in all our stores. We will also continue to work to reduce food waste across our value chain globally through effective partnerships with our producers and suppliers and by helping our customers.

 

 
9 September 2013

Food waste reduction in Asia

On 27-28 August representatives from Tesco Lotus took part in the launch of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s ‘Save Food Asia-Pacific Campaign.' Held in Bangkok, the event brought together delegates from over 20 counties and was attended by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Agriculture Ministers from other leading countries.

According to the UN FAO, the world produces enough food to meet the demand of its current population of 7 billion. Still, one in eight people go hungry every day. Approximately 35 per cent of food is lost between harvest and distribution in the Asia-Pacific region. The ‘Save Food Asia-Pacific Campaign’ looks to outline key strategic actions that the region’s stakeholders can take to save food from "farm to table" by limiting post-harvest losses and consumer waste. 

The focus of the launch was the start of a high-level stakeholder consultation on food losses and food waste in region. Our team at Tesco Lotus shared their insights as a key food retailer and leader on reducing food waste. The event was a great opportunity to build relationships with other key stakeholders as we look to continue our great work on reducing food waste.

 

 
4 September 2013

Reducing food waste in Thailand

One third of the food produced around the world is never consumed and becomes waste. This is why at we are committed to using our scale to help reduce food waste throughout our global value chain. 

Tesco Lotus in Thailand have recently introduced new measures to help reduce food waste in their water spinach supply chain. Water spinach, which is also known as morning glory in Thailand, is a staple of East Asian cuisine.  

Tesco Lotus now offer growers production plans and source directly from local suppliers to reduce the damage to produce during lengthy transportation.

In addition, the packaging on spinach now displays the packing date to help inform customers how fresh the product is.  

Through initiatives such as these with growers, suppliers and customers, we will continue to reduce food waste across our value chain.

 

 
27 August 2013

Green leaders meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Global Compact breakfast in South Korea

In South Korea we run our "eParan Green Leaders programme" to inspire and educate children about the importance of protecting our environment. We hope to have 100,000 Green Leaders by 2020.

In June we announced the winners of our children’s painting competition with the United Nations Environment Programme where the theme was “Reducing Food Waste”. We thought that the paintings were so good that we arranged for the winning designs to be printed on t-shirts.

A selection of our green leaders attended the recent UN Global Compact breakfast meeting and presented the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with the specially designed t-shirts to show the importance of protecting the environment and reducing food waste.

UN Global Compact

 
7 August 2013

Keep peas in their packet

We've launched a new zip mechanism for the packets of four lines of peas, including two of our largest lines. This new zip is designed to prevent peas from needlessly rolling out of their packets. This could save an estimated 35 tonnes a year from going to waste.

We have calculated that the average household wastes 10 peas out of the 3000 plus contained in a 1kg pack. This wastage occurs when peas roll out of the bag at the back of a freezer or accidentally fall on the kitchen floor and are thrown in the bin.

On that assumption and based on the number of bags of peas we sell across the four lines annually we think an incredible 35 tonnes or the equivalent of 35,000 1 kg packets are thrown away each year.

Our frozen vegetables buyer Andy Simpson said: “Its very annoying and something that affects every household - stray peas that easily roll out of the packet and then get lost at the back of the freezer or fall on the kitchen floor and then end up being thrown away."

Read an article that appeared in the Sunday Mirror on escap-peas

 
16 July 2013

Bakery donation in South Korea

On 16th July our team in South Korea launched a bakery donation programme in partnership with food bank ‘Joy of Sharing’. Over 400 volunteers were involved in the launch event. 

Through this partnership, we will be donating surplus bakery products to people in need in the local community – the elderly, children in welfare centres and vulnerable family groups. We hope to donate over 500,000 bags of bakery products each year, helping to feed over 800,000 people.

This is another good example of how Tesco is addressing the issue of food waste by putting surplus food to good use.

volunteers

 
14 June 2013

Environment painting competition

Over 50,000 children in Korea took part in our annual environmental painting competition in South Korea - the largest number of participants in the event's history.

The competition was organized in partnership with UNEP Korea. The theme of this year's competition was 'protecting the environment and reducing food waste'. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony on 2 June to coincide with World Environment Day.

See the winning paintings

eparan winner

 
5 June 2013

Reducing food loss and waste

To coincide with World Environment Day, UNEP and the World Resources Institute have published a joint study on reducing food loss and waste. Drawing on research from the UN FAO, the study shows that one out of every four calories produced by the global agricultural system is being lost or wasted. To combat food waste, the study presents five strategic recommendations:

  • Develop a food loss and waste measurement protocol
  • Set food loss and waste reduction targets
  • Increase investment in reducing post-harvest losses in developing countries
  • Create entities devoted to reducing food waste in developed countries
  • Accelerate and support collaborative initiatives to reduce food loss and waste

Download the full report on the UNEP website

 
23 May 2013

Managing our food surplus

The nature of our business – offering a wide range of foods to our customers every day – means that there is some surplus food that we have stocked but have not been able to sell.

In the UK, we use the following hierarchy to manage our waste:

  1. We try to minimise any waste – for example by reducing to-clear foods close to their expiry date in stores
  2. If food cannot be sold, we offer it where possible to those in need by donating to charities
  3. We send bakery waste to be converted into animal feed for livestock. Out of date chicken and raw meat products are processed into pet food and our chicken fat and cooking oil is converted into biodiesel
  4. If these options are not available, we recover energy from food waste through anaerobic digestion or incineration

Over recent years, we have built strong partnerships with food surplus charities. In Hungary and the UK we work closely with the Hungarian Food Bank and FareShare, respectively, to ensure that unsold food is put to good use.

Recently, we have looked at how best to deal with food surplus at our dedicated grocery home shopping stores – the giant distribution centres that service our online customers in the UK.

Since October 2012 enough food has been diverted from pilots in these stores to provide over 100,000 meals to FareShare. We plan to roll out this initiative to all dedicated grocery home shopping stores by the end of this year, aiming to provide enough surplus food to serve over a million meals to UK charities.

Whilst our first priority is minimising food waste, this initiative ensures that any surplus food is well managed and as much as possible goes to those in need.

Find out more about how we are helping to feed people in need

 
23 May 2013

Store operations blueprint

We know that our UK stores have lower levels of food waste than our stores in other markets. Therefore, to minimise the amount of food wasted in Tesco operations globally we are developing a blueprint based on best practice in the UK and sharing this with our operations around the world.

This includes programmes aimed at reducing waste by optimising case sizes, reducing lead times for orders and improving how we run in-store operations including bakeries.

In Hungary and Malaysia we are also piloting a system developed in the UK for more accurate forecasting when we run promotions on foods. If successful, we will roll this out to our stores in all countries.

Over the coming years, we aim to use this blueprint to reduce food waste in Tesco stores in all our markets.