In its corporate responsibility report for 2013 the supermarket chain, Tesco, has pledged to take action on food waste and use its position to engineer social change.

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The report sets out a number of targets to reduce the waste of food which will also be creating opportunities for younger people as well as promote healthier eating habits.

Tesco plans to tackle food waste in three main areas: operations, agriculture and its supply chain, and with its own customers. Around 32% of food is wasted across its value chain, with 16% coming from agriculture and supply chain, less than 1% coming from the retailer, and 16% coming from the customer.

The ‘buy one get one free’ offers presented by supermarkets has received a lot of criticism in the past, it has been said that these offers help to create an annual mountain of food waste, therefore the retailer has said that they will not have promotions encouraging people to buy bigger amounts of food with a shorter shelf life.

In its corporate responsibility report for 2013, Tesco and Society, the retailer pledged to use its position as one of the world’s largest retailers to engineer social change.

It sells food to 50 million customers around the world, sourcing it from thousands of suppliers in more than 70 countries. According to the government’s Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap), the average UK family wastes nearly £700 a year by throwing out unused food.

Tesco’s report sets out a series of targets on food waste, creating opportunities for young people, and healthy eating. It commits the retailer to using data from its Club card loyalty scheme to show customers how “healthy” the contents of their shopping baskets are.

In a recent article published in the Sunday Telegraph, chief executive Philip Clarke said it was important that supermarkets used the data to understand consumers and encourage them to behave differently.

The retailer has also pledged to extend a pilot using surplus food at its dedicated grocery home shopping stores – the giant distribution centres that service its online customers in the UK – to help needy families through the food charity FareShare.

Since October 2012 enough food has been diverted to provide over 100,000 meals to FareShare, but this will be rolled out to all dedicated grocery home shopping stores by the end of this year, providing enough surplus food to serve over a million meals to UK charities.

The move comes following accusations by green campaigners that the UK’s major supermarkets, which generate an estimated 300,000 tonnes of food waste every year, have failed to produce detailed figures on the scale of their waste.

Reference:

The Guardian

Environmental Leader

The Telegraph

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