Produce Buying Manager
Welwyn Garden City
12 Oct 2016
How Tesco cuts food waste on farms by taking unexpected bumper crops.
Customers got a great deal on celery at 29p, helped reduce farm food waste and supported our British farmers all in one go. How? We took a bumper crop and turned it into a bumper bonus.
An unexpected bumper crop is when unseasonably good growing conditions create more food than is planned. Despite advanced forecasting and ordering systems, at certain times of the year our farmers see bumper crops. Farmers, call these moments 'crop flushes'.
Summer started off warm and wet which made our celery grow quicker than expected. We had almost double the usual amount. We didn't want to see the extra unplanned produce go to waste. Our supplier, G's Fresh approached me ahead of the crop harvesting. They asked if there was anything Tesco could do to stop them having to plough the crops back into the field. "Yes, we'll take it all", I said.
At Tesco we’re passionate about working with our suppliers so that no edible food goes to waste. We took the whole crop from G’s.
We put the crop bonus at the front of our stores within four days, so that none was wasted on the farm. We also reduced the price to customers so that they too benefited from the bonus. We sold the celery for just 29p.
This year we’ve been able to take bumper crops and offer customers bonus deals on strawberries, cherries, lettuce and celery. Customers benefitted from great prices; our farmers were happy we could take more from them, and we prevented food from going to waste.
This is part of our wider strategy of tackling food waste wherever it occurs. Tesco believes that no food that could be eaten should be wasted. We've committed that no surplus food will go to waste from our stores by the end of 2017. We’re tackling food waste on farms, in stores and in customers' homes.
Customers were happy with the offer and the grower was delighted to make use of the extra crop. This is another example of Tesco working with our farmers and suppliers to give customers the best products, at the best prices. It was a triple win. Win for customers, win for farmers and a win on tackling food waste.