Working with Suppliers

We have a shared responsibility to reduce waste from farm to fork. A major part of our work to reduce food waste has been in the way we source food, working in partnership with our suppliers.

Key highlights include:

  • Broadening specifications -In 2016 we launched our Perfectly Imperfect range of ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables, which allows us to take much more of our suppliers crop, maximise the amount of produce we can sell in store, and give our customers great products at low prices. The range has included items such as apples, pears, potatoes, parsnips, cucumbers, courgettes, strawberries and frozen mixed berries. It’s been extremely popular with customers and we have sold over  20,890 tonnes in the UK and over 15,000 tonnes in Central Europe.
  • Managing bumper crops - At certain times of the year we have to manage bumper crops due to variable weather.  We work in partnership with suppliers to ensure this product is offered to customers at great value rather than being wasted on farms. In December 2019 we widened our specifications on potatoes and added customer messaging on pack to take as much crop as possible from our flood hit growers in Eastern England.
  • Improving food processing -By connecting our growers with suppliers of fresh and frozen foods, we can help provide a stable demand for produce that falls outside our specifications. For example, we help our potato grower, Branston, to supply our manufacturer, Samworths. Potatoes outside our specifications are used in our own brand mashed potato. This increases the amount of crop used and saves edible produce being ploughed back into the field.
  • Helping our suppliers redistribute to charity -We introduced our top suppliers to our charity partner FareShare. They work to redistribute edible food to people in need. Many of these suppliers are now donating their surplus food directly to communities where they operate.
  • Using our experience with Community Food Connection in our supply chains – we are now working in partnership with our global produce supplier Flamingo to turn surplus food from packhouses into soup which is distributed free of charge to schools in Kenya. The scheme launched in March 2019 as a pilot, has now been rolled out to two schools in Naivasha, Kenya, and is currently feeding 2,000 children each day.

In September 2017 we announced a joint commitment with 27 of our Tesco Product Partners to adopt Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3, publish food waste data in supplier operations within 12 months, and act in partnership to reduce food waste farm to fork.

To view the detail of each of our Own Brand suppliers’ food waste data, please see the documents below.

We are also proud to announce that 11 of our largest branded suppliers including Mars, Unilever and General Mills have published their food waste data, nine for the first time for their own operations.  

To view the detail of each of our largest branded suppliers, please see the documents below.