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A milestone in our mission on tackling foodwaste

MAGYAR Henrietta

Stakeholder Relations Manager, Tesco

Tesco announces commitment to offer food surplus for donation from all its CE stores by 2020 at its Budapest conference 

No food to waste.  No time to waste. I first heard this line from Dave Lewis when he delivered a speech on tackling food waste at the Consumer Goods Forum summit in Cape Town. The phrase stuck in my mind. It's so powerful in raising attention to one of the world’s leading environmental and social challenges. When Tesco Europe decided to organise its next conference on food waste in Budapest, it was quite obvious for me to pick this line as the title of the event.

The conference is an important milestone in Tesco’s mission on tackling food waste. We've committed to work with national governments and charities so that by 2020 all our stores in Central Europe will offer food surplus to local charities.  We've signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Central European Foodbank representatives which outlines how we will work together to achieve this goal.

We run a food surplus donation programme in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia similar to the Community Food Connection in the UK. More than 280 stores across Central Europe are already donating surplus food to local charity Foodbank partners. Since the start of the programme, we've donated 5,000 tonnes of food, which equals almost 13 million meals.  We have ambitious targets to extend this programme and by the end of the year we will have reached over 340 stores. 

We know that delivering our commitment won’t be straightforward and that’s why we believe working in partnership with the third sector and with government to overcome any challenges. We recognize the capacity challenges that small local charities face and are working with the foodbanks to help address this.  We are also committed to working with national governments to share learnings and ensure there is a regulatory environment that helps to encourage food surplus donations.

We recognise we have a responsibility to fight food waste in our operations and a shared responsibility to do this from farm to fork.  So we are also looking at how we can engage our our customers and suppliers to work with us to reduce food waste and will keep you updated on our progresse. Together, I believe we can achieve our ambition for no good food to go to waste.