The fight against food waste
Food waste has been identified as one of the most important issues we can fight against and Tesco as a company can make a big difference.
Hunger and food waste are two major societal and environmental problems. It’s reported that 690 million people go hungry each night1 , yet it’s estimated that one third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted2 . The environmental impact of food waste is significant - our 2021 Driven To Waste Report suggests that 40% of food is uneaten and food waste is responsible for 9-10% of total global GHG emissions, an increase from previous estimates3 .
As a retailer, we are committed to reducing food waste from farm to fork and ensuring that surplus good food is distributed to those who need it, when they need it most. As the first and only food retailer in Slovakia, we have been measuring and publishing data on our food waste since 2016/17.
reduction in food waste as a percentage of food handled (against 2016/17) in Slovakia
we successfully donated food suitable for human consumption in Slovakia (in 2021/22)
suppliers reported their food waste data
tons of CO2 emissions we saved by donating food since 2016/17
At Tesco, we work intensively on improving internal processes with the aim of reducing food waste. We constantly optimize forecasts and food ordering. We reduced processes that were inefficient and changed many others. If we can no longer sell food in our stores, we prefer to redistribute it to charitable organizations cooperating with the Food Bank of Slovakia. If the food is no longer suitable for human consumption, we donate it as animal feed.
Reports about food waste
- Report about food waste 2022
- Report about food waste 2021
- Report about food waste 2020
- Report about food waste 2019
- Report about food waste 2018
We are one of the largest partners of food banks in Central Europe and the largest supporter of the Food Bank of Slovakia. In 2015, we in Slovakia pledged to do everything to ensure that food that is suitable for human consumption is not thrown away, but donated to people in need. In the same year, we started donating unsold food from 4 of our stores. Since then, we have come a long way and achieved great results. Currently, all our stores in Slovakia donate unsold food, which helps where it is most needed. Our stores in the Czech Republic and Hungary also participate in donating unsold food.
We are aware of the importance of educating customers in the fight against food waste, as up to half of food waste is generated in households. We would love it if you download tips on how not to waste
- Tips and tricks on how not to waste food
Food Cloud app
In 2021, we completed the rollout of the FoodCloud app to all our stores, helping to connect our stores and partner charities faster, making it easier and increasing the donation of unsold food fit for human consumption by 26% year-on-year.
Working with our suppliers
In September 2019, we announced that five suppliers who supply food for our own brand in Central Europe will adopt Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 (halve their food waste). They have committed to publishing food waste data from their operations within 12 months and working with us to reduce farm-to-fork food waste. Currently, 13 suppliers will publish their data on food waste, 5 of them for the third time. We are working towards all Tesco product partners publishing their waste data by 2022. We will also work with our suppliers to halve food waste in our supply chains by 2030.
We will continue to encourage our suppliers to help our customers prevent food waste in the home with useful tips and product innovations. In cooperation with our partners in the field of donating unsold food, we will continue to ensure that good food is not wasted and that it reaches those who need it most.
Collaboration to WWF
We collaborated on the Driven to Waste report with WWF to jointly understand global levels of food loss or waste on farms. The report estimates that total global food waste is one billion tonnes higher than previously thought. As a result, we are now working with WWF to develop further industry research and insights into how retailers can influence this.
Conference on sustainable food systems in Slovakia
Also this year, under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, we organized a conference, the aim of which was to bring relevant experts and business representatives together and discuss the future of the food sector from the point of view of the legislative framework of sustainable food systems, about opportunities and obstacles from a business perspective, and last but not least, at the same time about how to inspire customers to switch to a more sustainable eating habit.
You can find the recording of the conference at this link.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
SDG 2 Zero Hunger
The aim is focused on ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. This goal, especially Target 2.1 in relation to access to safe and nutritious food to all people, links to our food redistribution programmes. Our programmes aim to redistribute surplus food to help feed people in local communities where they need it the most.
SDG 12 ZResponsible Consumption and Production
The goal is to ensure sustainable models of consumption and production. This goal, particularly in relation to target 12.3 to halve food waste by 2030, underpins our approach to reducing food loss within our own operations, working with suppliers, supporting our communities and helping our customers prevent food waste at home. We are proud to have already met the 12.3 goal in 2019, which is 11 years earlier than set by the UN.
SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals
The goal recognises the importance of collaboration. Our food redistribution programmes and partnerships across the Group have been developed with the input, knowledge and expertise of our colleagues and NGO and charity partners. Ongoing collaboration will ensure our programmes remain impactful and help reduce good food going to waste.
3 WWF Driven To Waste Report