Over two-thirds of bagged salad wasted, Tesco reveals
Supermarket giant announces plans to cut down on food waste across its entire operations and help consumers to throw away less food at home
21 October 2013
A total of 68% of bagged salad is wasted and 35% of this waste occurs in the home, according to new research released by Tesco.
The supermarket giant which has also unveiled new food waste figures for its operations and supply chain, said it plans to introduce new measures in a bid to counteract the problem.
As a first step in reducing this waste, Tesco has announced it will end multi-buys on large bags of salad and is developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags in a bid to help customers reduce the amount they are wasting at home.
‘Display until’ dates are being removed from fresh fruit and vegetables, smaller cases are being used in store and 600 bakeries in larger stores have been rearranged to reduce the amount of bread on display, leading to better stock control and less waste. It is hoped this will cut down on bakery and bread waste, with the group’s data showing that just under half of bakery items are wasted.
Tesco’s figures also showed that 40% of apples are wasted, with just over a quarter of that waste occurring in the home. The supermarket said it is involved in trials with growers to reduce pests and disease, as well as giving customers simple tips on how to store apples to help them last longer.
A quarter of grapes are likewise wasted between the vine and the fruit bowl, with the majority of that waste happening in the home. Tesco has said is working with producers to trial new varieties of grapes that have a longer life. The retailer is also working directly with suppliers to shorten the time it takes food to get from the field to the store.
What’s more, the figures showed a fifth of all bananas are wasted and one in ten bananas bought by customers end up in the bin. Tesco has introduced a new state-of-the-art temperature control system to ensure bananas last longer in transportation and ‘Love Banana’ training for colleagues in-store to show customers how to make them last longer.
Matt Simister, Tesco commercial director of Group Food, said: "We’ve all got a responsibility to tackle food waste and there is no quick-fix single solution…Families are wasting an estimated £700 a year and we want to help them keep that money in their pockets, rather than throwing it in the bin."
Richard Swannell, director of Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) said it welcomed Tesco’s approach to tackling food waste across its entire supply chain.
Tesco claims to be the first major UK retailer to reveal the levels of food waste across its entire UK operations. The group’s data reveals that in the first six months of this year 28,500 tonnes of food waste were generated in stores and distribution centres. The last figures published by WRAP in 2011 estimated that 15 million tonnes of food waste is generated per year in the UK.
In an address to the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen, Philip Clarke will today give an update on the progress made to tackle food waste six months after Tesco announced it would be one of its three "Big Ambitions". The three ambitions are areas in which Tesco is committed to using its scale for good: creating opportunities for young people, encouraging customers and colleagues to live healthier lives and leading in reducing food waste globally.