A partnership between Tesco and food sharing app OLIO in the UK has saved more than five million meals from wastage in the past year, the retailer has said.
In August of last year, Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with the food sharing app to distribute fit-for-consumption, unsold food to people in need.
More than 72,000 people benefitted from around 5.6 million meals distributed through this partnership over the course of the year.
Tesco head of communities, Claire De Silva, said, “Tesco is committed to tackling food waste and we were confident our partnership with OLIO would help with that, but its impact has exceeded all our expectations.
“For our partnership to have diverted more than 5 million surplus meals from going to waste in its first year is a huge achievement and shows the strength of the partnership between our store colleagues and OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes.”
The partnership builds on Tesco’s existing food surplus donations programme, including its Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare.
Since 2016, Tesco has provided more than 120 million meals to charities and community groups across the UK as part of this scheme.
As part of its recent Buy One to Help A Child campaign, customers have enabled the donation of more than three million meals.
Food Waste Prevention
FareShare supports frontline charities and community groups working with children – from summer holiday clubs and breakfast clubs to community kitchens and groups which supply food parcels to those facing food insecurity.
OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so and take it back to their homes.
The items are then uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be re-distributed, free of cost, to those living nearby as well as in community groups.
OLIO app users can then pick items from an agreed, contact-free collection point.
Commenting on the partnership, Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said, “Our partnership with Tesco has been a huge success this year, and we’re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that would have otherwise been wasted to communities across the UK. Tesco has been a true pioneer.
“But our work is far from done. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste and supporting local communities. Just imagine what we could achieve if every business followed their lead.”
Tesco added that it has not sent any food waste to landfills since 2009, and in 2013 it became the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data.