Every little helps: supermarket’s big food waste plans

Tesco has launched a two-pronged assault on food waste, as the country’s largest retailers scramble to get ahead of new legislative proposals.

First off, the supermarket announced a nationwide initiative to redistribute food from all its stores to charity.

The “community food connection” scheme is powered by Fareshare FoodCloud, an open platform used by store managers to alert local groups to surplus food on a daily basis. Pilots at 14 sites have redirected 22 tonnes of food away from landfill, composting and anaerobic digestion.

Secondly, Tesco launched a “Perfectly imperfect” range of vegetables. The wonky produce will be priced below its more aesthetically pleasing equivalents.

Tesco committed to reducing food waste back in 2013. In the past six months food waste has been a high profile issue, attracting the attention of campaigners (including Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall) and politicians.

A Food Waste Bill is currently awaiting its second reading in parliament. The proposals include a target for large businesses to reduce their food waste by no less than 30% by 2025 and to enter into “formal agreements with food redistribution organisations”.

It’s unclear how far the regulations could extend; the focus, as in France, appears to be on supermarkets, manufacturers and food distributors.

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