Food waste

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No food to waste!

So we donate food surplus from our stores.

Tackling food waste

Perfectly Imperfect

In partnership with our suppliers we work on to reduce food waste in the whole supply chain. That is why we started a program named “Perfectly Imperfect".


Food Waste data

At Tesco we think it is simply not right that good food goes to waste.

That’s why we are proud to be the first CE retailer to publish food waste data for our own operations.

We take our responsibility to society seriously and believe that as one of the world’s largest food retailers we have a role to play in the global fight against food waste.

We believe we are doing the right thing by publishing our food waste data. Without measurement, it is impossible to set targets and take action to reduce the amount of food going to waste. Publishing our data also allows us to measure progress against our goals, and to identify areas for future improvement.

We already work hard to minimise the amount of food waste in our operations through forecasting and ordering, and reducing to clear our food that is approaching its use by or best before date. But, a further way we reduce food waste in our CE stores is by donating any surplus food that is safe for human consumption to food banks and local charities, with our food surplus donation programme

  • Since beginning our partnership with food banks, we have donated over 12,000 tonnes of food across Central Europe to feed people in need
  • This is the equivalent over 29 million meals
  • There are currently over 500 stores across CE offering surplus food and aim to have 600 stores by the end of the year, including all our hypermarkets

We have made a commitment that by 2020 all our stores in CE will offer surplus food to food banks and local charities.

We are working hard to achieve this, and our ambition is that one day no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste at Tesco.

We also recognise that we have a shared responsibility to tackle food waste from farm to fork. We’ve made a range of changes to help do this in CE, such as:

  • Introducing the Perfectly Imperfect range of wonky fruits and vegetables to all our CE hypermarkets this year to help cut food waste on farms
  • Improving our supply chains to speed up the delivery of citrus fruits, giving customers two additional days of freshness, and helping to cut food waste at home
  • Ending ‘buy one get one for free’ promotions in our CE stores to help our customers buy what they need, and waste less at home

We know that we can’t fight food waste in CE alone and that’s why we work in partnership with food banks, local government and with our suppliers to do so.

We would like to encourage the food industry, including our competitors, to be transparent by publishing their food waste data. Together we can help tackle food waste from farm to fork.

2016/17 food waste by category (surplus minus donations and animal feed)

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

The total level of food wasted in CE was 1.5% of all food sales in 2016/17.

In total in 2016/17, we sold 3,352,675 tonnes of food to customers through our CE operations. This generated:

  • 60,918 tonnes of surplus (not sold to customers)
  • 27,143 tonnes of this was fit for human consumption
  • 8,143 tonnes of this was donated or redistributed for animal feed
  • With 19,000 of food fit for human consumption going to disposal

2016/17 food surplus: progress

We’re working hard to ensure that no food that’s safe for human consumption will go to waste from our retail operations.

Our goal is to help halve all global food waste by 2030.

While we have made progress in tackling food waste, there is still much we need to do. We won’t stop trying. We have no time for waste.

How we calculate food waste data