Tesco unveils online supplier food waste ‘hotline’

Tesco has today (13 March) launched an innovative online food waste 'hotline' to help the retailer work directly with suppliers and producers to identify and prevent potential supply chain food waste.

The platform will serve as a link between Tesco and the retailer’s 5,000 partners via the online community Supplier Network, which enables members to share knowledge, build a more sustainable supply chain and innovate together.

Tesco commercial director, fresh food and commodities, Matt Simister said: “At Tesco, we have no time for waste, and we are committed to reducing food waste wherever it occurs, from farm to fork.

“The ‘food waste hotline’ is another little help we are making to achieve this with our suppliers. It helps our suppliers gain direct, easy access to our Product teams, and this will enable us to identify food waste hotspots and systemic issues and work in partnership to tackle them.”

Every little helps

Tesco has made an overarching pledge that no surplus food will be wasted in its UK operations by the end of this year. Last week, Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis exclusively told edie that innovative methods of encouraging both supplier and consumer waste reduction will play a central role in helping the supermarket chain to achieve that goal.

Another key driver to eliminate food waste is Tesco’s partnership with food redistribution organisation FareShare under the Community Food Connection, which has seen the retailer pass on around 13 million meals for more than 2,200 charities. Lewis confirmed to edie that the scheme will be rolled out across all Tesco stores by the end of the year.

On top of its work with FareShare, Tesco has partnered with Innovate UK to issue a challenge to the entrepreneurial community, calling on innovators to develop projects aimed at reducing household food waste.

The company has also introduced initiatives that have allowed its supply chains to evolve into a more sustainable and efficient means of food sourcing. In the wake of criticism from the likes of Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstall’s War on Waste TV series, Tesco introduced a “perfectly imperfect” range of wonky veg. 

The creation of the Tesco supplier hotline arrives weeks after retail competitor Asda launched a similar online platform for suppliers to exchange surplus food to help eliminate food waste in the supply chain.

George Ogleby

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