The retailer recently stated that ‘tackling food waste has never been more urgent’ amongst the unprecedented challenges facing businesses and customers.
Tesco Food Waste Plan
Tesco has already achieved a 45% reduction in food waste across its own operations, against a 2016/17 baseline.
According to the group, just 0.35% of the food that it handled last year ended up as waste.
To meet its timeline around food waste, Tesco has developed a plan to further accelerate its work in this field.
The group will continue to invest in its existing food surplus redistribution programmes, including partnerships with FareShare and OLIO, to ensure that more surplus food is diverted to the people who need it most.
An expansion of its supplier partnership programme – to further help suppliers reduce food waste in a variety of ways, including stocking ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables, and working with suppliers to manage bumper crops – is also part of the chain’s plan.
Tesco also plans to divert more surplus food that is not fit for human consumption to suppliers who can utilise it as animal feed.
At the same time, the group will look to continue the development of innovative solutions, such as testing how food waste can be fed to black soldier flies, to create protein that has the potential to be used as an alternative to soy animal feed.
Pay Performance Targets
In addition, Tesco will also be aligning executive pay performance targets to key sustainability measures, including reducing food waste, becoming one of the first UK food retailers to do this.
This means that 25% of the performance share that executive directors receive will depend on the chain’s progress on key sustainability measures – including gender and ethnicity representation, carbon reduction, and food waste reduction – in its own operations.
Ken Murphy, Tesco CEO, said, “While I’m proud of our progress in making sure good food doesn’t go to waste, we know there’s still more work to do. By accelerating our target to halve food waste in our operations by 2025 and aligning executive pay performance targets to this goal, we hope to drive further transformative change.
“However, the work we and our suppliers do won’t tackle the issue alone. We have long called for the government to introduce mandatory food waste reporting, to help measure and judge if real action is happening. Action must be taken across the whole industry.”