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12 May 2017: Tesco food waste figures show efforts must increase

We are pleased to see Tesco publish its food waste data in its Annual Report. Reporting on food waste alongside financial performance sends a strong message to investors that food waste is a material issue that can no longer be ignored. We also commend Tesco for its target that no food fit for human consumption should go to waste by the end of 2017 and for its efforts in redistributing surplus food to those in need.

But less promising are the waste figures themselves. Despite its very public commitment to food waste reduction, Tesco’s waste as a percentage of food sold remains at a stubborn 0.5%, and food waste tonnage actually increased this year compared to last: in 2016-2017, Tesco is responsible for a staggering 46.7 tons of food that was never eaten. Clearly, laudable initiatives have not yet yielded food waste-busting results, and the pace of food waste reduction efforts required between now and the end of the year to meet the target of zero wasted food must pick up dramatically if it is to be achieved.

As well as continuing its redistribution efforts, we call on Tesco to show true leadership in food waste reduction and to redouble its efforts in the prevention of food waste in its operations and supply chains.