Central European Food Waste Data 2017/18

At Tesco, we have no time for waste. We are proud to be the first retailer in Central Europe to publish food waste data for our own operations, and are committed to driving progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to halve per capita global food waste by 2030.

Highlights from 2017/18 include:

  • Our total food waste has reduced from 54,102 tonnes in 2016/17 to 38,054◊ tonnes in 2017/18, a significant reduction of 30% in the last year
  • In total we donated 10,639 tonnes of food to more than 1,100 food bank partners and local charities from our stores and distribution centres, an increase of over 100% in the last year
  • This is the equivalent of over 25 million meals donated to people in need
  • There are over 600 (out of a total of 961) stores across Central Europe offering surplus food to food bank partners and local charities
  • By 2020 all our stores in Central Europe will offer surplus food to those in need

We have a shared responsibility to tackle food waste from farm to fork. Working in partnership with our suppliers we introduced our Perfectly Imperfect range to Central Europe which to date has sold over 6,000 tonnes of wonky fruit and vegetables that may otherwise have gone to waste on farm.

When crop flushes (or bumper crops as we call them) occur we work with suppliers to distribute surplus effectively. We piloted bumper crop sales in Central Europe for the first time this year, resulting in 4,600 Perfectly Imperfect iceberg lettuces being sold across 15 hypermarkets in Poland priced at 50% off – our customers got a great deal, and we helped reduce food waste on farms.

We recently launched the Food Waste Hotline in Central Europe, enabling our suppliers to alert us if they have potential supply chain food waste and work with us to address it.

We know that we can’t fight food waste alone and that’s why we work in partnership with food banks and charities, local government and with our suppliers to do so.

Central Europe - 2017/18 food waste by category

Transparency and measurement is essential for identifying hotspots, and in tackling the causes of food waste. It helps everyone understand how much, where, and why food is being wasted.

The total level of food wasted in Central Europe was 1.2%◊ of all food sales in 2017/18. This is a significant improvement compared to last year’s figure of 1.6%*. There are several reasons for this:

  1. We have decreased total surplus food in Central Europe by 15% (vs last year) as a result of improved forecasting and ordering, and increased compliance with stock and waste routines in our stores. This also resulted in a reduction in the total amount of food wasted across Central Europe of 30%.
  2. We prioritised the rollout of our surplus food redistribution scheme across Central Europe. This resulted in the amount of surplus food we were able to donate increasing by 100% (both to food bank partners for human consumption, and to animal feed) as we doubled the number of stores donating surplus food to over 600 stores.
  3. We improved our food donation process both to food bank partners and animal feed. This resulted in a significant reduction in waste in Central Europe, and is a testament to the continued hard work of our colleagues, food banks and supplier partners working to tackle food waste together from farm to fork.
Food waste
  2016/17 2017/18
Total food sales 3,352,675 tonnes 3,227,655 tonnes
Total food waste 54,102 tonnes 38,054 tonnes◊
Waste as % of food sales 1.6*% 1.2%◊
Donations 5,136 tonnes 10,639 tonnes
Central Europe - 2017/18 sales tonnage vs surplus tonnage

In total in 2017/18, we sold 3,227,655 tonnes of food to customers through our Central European operations. This generated:

  • 51,579 tonnes of surplus (not sold to customers)
  • 24,318 tonnes of this was fit for human consumption
  • 13,149 tonnes of this was donated or redistributed for animal feed
  • With 11,169 tonnes of food fit for human consumption going to waste, a reduction of over 46% on last year’s figure
Central Europe - 2017/18 food surplus safe for human consumption (tonnes)

While we have made excellent progress in tackling food waste in our own operations in Central Europe, there is still much more to do. We are working hard to achieve our commitments, and our ambition is that one day no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste at Tesco. We have no time for waste.

Find out how we calculate our food waste data here

Comment from our independent assurance provider, KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP were engaged to provide independent limited assurance over the selected food waste data highlighted on this webpage with a ◊ using the assurance standard ISAE 3000. KPMG has issued an unqualified opinion over the selected data. KPMG’s full assurance statement is available at: www.tescoplc.com/foodwastefigures.

(*) We have recalculated our total food waste tonnage for financial year 16/17.

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