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Tesco reveals extent of food waste

Tesco reveals extent of food waste

Britain's biggest supermarket, Tesco, has revealed that it generated nearly 30,000 tonnes of food waste during the first six months of this year.

Just over a fifth (21 per cent) was made up fruit and vegetables and 41 per cent were bakery items.

However, the supermarket claims that the issue of food waste is one that affects the whole industry.

Using its data and own figures from across the sector as a whole, Tesco has estimated that a total of 68 per cent of bagged salad sold in the UK was eventually wasted, with 35 per cent being thrown out by customers.

The company has responded by announcing that it is committed to ending any multi-purchase offers, including buy-one-get-one-frees, on all of its bagged salads, which it claims has been one of the main causes of waste.

It claims that it will instead focus on moving such products to mix-and-match offers, as well as giving customers simple advice on the best way to store fresh fruit and vegetables.

It also confirmed that it was in discussions with grape and banana suppliers over how best to improve both the timings and conditions of delivery.

In dealing with its current waste, Tesco said that it would, whenever possible, donate unsold food to charities such as FareShare, convert it into food for livestock, or even recycle into renewable fuel.

Matt Simister, Tesco's commercial director of group food, told the BBC: "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.

"We're playing our part too and making changes to our processes and in store."

Richard Swannell, director of Wrap, said: "We welcome Tesco's approach to tackling food waste across their whole supply chain, and by identifying the hot spots they can tackle these areas effectively."


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