Tesco customers to gain extra freshness thanks to new food waste saving scheme

20 Oct 2015

Customers can benefit from salads and citrus fruit that will stay fresh for up to two extra days, thanks to an industry leading initiative by Tesco.

Customers can benefit from salads and citrus fruit that will stay fresh for up to two extra days, thanks to an industry leading initiative by Tesco.

Some of the most popular fruit and vegetables will stay fresher for longer as a result of Tesco cutting out a food packing stage in the journey from farm to fork.

Among the foods that are gaining extra freshness from the initiative include some of the most popular items in the produce aisle, including:

  • Citrus fruit
  •  Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Celery

According to the UK’s Waste and Resources Reduction Action Programme (WRAP), seven million tonnes of food is thrown away each year by British households, costing the average family with children £700.*

Tesco Group Food Commercial Director Matt Simister said: “For millions of our customers this move will mean having up to an extra two days in which to enjoy some of the most popular fruit and vegetables.

 “The extra days of freshness will particularly benefit customers who are pressed for time and will mean they are less likely to throw away food.

 “The move is part of our efforts to not only help busy families plan ahead but also to help customers reduce waste at home too.”

 As part of its ongoing programme to tackle food waste Tesco looked at its supply chain to identify ways of working directly with producers to speed up the process by which freshly picked produce arrives in store.

It found that as a result of advancements in packing and storage it was now possible to ship produce directly from European suppliers to Tesco stores, cutting the amount of time spent in transit which means getting produce to customers faster, and therefore fresher.

Dr Richard Swannell, Director Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP said: “WRAP’s Product Life research identified a number of simple and safe ways to make changes throughout the supply chain to pass on more product life to shoppers.

“Giving people more time to eat the foods they buy reduces the risk of food being wasted. Our report estimates some 250,000 tonnes of food waste could be prevented by a one day increase in product life – food wasted by households and by the supply chain.

“Preventing this volume of waste means UK shoppers have a potential shared saving of up to £500 million a year. I’m delighted Tesco have used this guide to examine a range of products.”

 ENDS

 Note to editors:

* Fresh fruit and vegetables make up the single biggest proportion of the food thrown away in the UK.

WRAP data reveals the latest food waste and avoidable food waste figures.

  Total food waste (tonnes)  Avoidable food waste (tonnes)
Citrus 174,000 73,000
Melons 89,000 28,000
Lettuce 52,000 44,000
Tomatoes 49,000 45,000
Cucumbers 42,000 43,000
Peppers 36,000 18,000
Mushrooms 23,000 18,000
Broccoli 42,000 15,000

Recent Tesco  achievements in helping reduce food waste

  • Tesco recently announced a partnership with Fareshare and FoodCloud to ensure that surplus food in stores goes to people in need. Our goal with this partnership is to eliminate edible food waste in our stores – estimated to be at least 30, 000 tonnes.
  • It has also taken other measures to help customers in the home such as redesigning packaging that will help keep certain meat products fresher for up to an extra five days for beef and lamb.
  • Tesco has also worked with WRAP on their Love Food, Hate Waste programme to help customers in the home - for example redesigning packaging on key produce lines to include food waste tips.  These tips range from storing apples in loosely tied plastic bags in a fridge, through to storing spinach in plastic containers lined with a paper towel and a tight fitting lid.
  • Preliminary findings show that 1 in 10 customers claim that they’ve changed their behaviour as a result of the new packaging, that’s 1.4 million customers.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

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