Central European Food Waste Data 2018/19

At Tesco, we have no time for waste. We are proud to be the first retailer in Central Europe to publish food waste data for our own operations, and are committed to driving progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to halve per capita global food waste by 2030.

Highlights from 2018/19 include:

  • Our total food waste has reduced by 25% in the last year; from 38,054 tonnes in 2017/18 to 28,663tonnes in 2018/19. This is 47% reduction compared to our baseline year of 2016/17
  • Through our partnership with national food banks, who help to redistribute surplus food, we donated 13,737 tonnes of surplus food to local charities from our stores and distribution centres. This is equivalent to over 32.5 million meals.
  • 747 (out of a total of 896) stores across Central Europe are offering surplus food to food bank partners and local charities. By 2020 all our stores in Central Europe will offer surplus food to those in need.

Transparency and measurement are essential for identifying hotspots, and in tackling the causes of food waste. It helps everyone understand how much, where, and why food is being wasted.

In 2018/19, 3,110,167 tonnes of food sold in Central Europe generated 49,132 tonnes of surplus (not sold to customers)

20,469 tonnes of this surplus was redistributed through donations to charity, or animal feed. This is a 51% increase compared with last year. This significant increase is a result of the continued roll out of our food donation programme to charities as well as greater colleague engagement and compliance with the food surplus routines.

Redistribution to animal feed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia saw a particular increase in 2018/19. In the Czech Republic this was due to limited capacity of local charities to collect surplus food and therefore more was sent to animal feed to prevent it going to waste.


We believe that that no food that is safe for human consumption should be wasted. As a result of our actions there has been a 38% decrease in food safe for human consumption going to waste in Central Europe compared with last year. This is 67% reduction compared to our baseline year of 2016/17.


In 2018/19, total food waste was 28,663 tonnes which is a 25% reduction compared with last year and 47% reduction compared with the 2016/17 baseline. Food waste as a percentage of sales was 0.92%, down from 1.18% compared with last year.


In addition to significant increases in food surplus being donated to charities and sent to animal feed, we were able to reduce overall surplus food through improvements to our forecasting and ordering systems. Simplifying our food range across the region has also helped to make store ordering more accurate - minimising waste on slower selling lines. Finally, we have changed the discount levels of food reaching expiry; offering customers a great deal and helping reduce food surplus and waste.  

Food waste is too big an issue for any one company to tackle alone. We’re calling on every other food company to commit to halving global food waste by 2030 and publish their food waste data.

Find out how we calculate our food waste data here

Independent assurance over our figures, KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP were engaged to provide independent limited assurance over the selected food waste data highlighted on this webpage with a ◊ using the assurance standard ISAE 3000. KPMG has issued an unqualified opinion over the selected data. KPMG’s full assurance statement is here.