Ireland Food Waste Data 2017/18

At Tesco, we have no time for waste. As the first Irish retailer to publish our food waste data, we want to lead the industry in helping to stop good food from going to waste. We are committed to driving progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to halve per capita global food waste by 2030.

We have also made a commitment that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste in Tesco Ireland stores by 2020.

Highlights from 2017/18 include:

  • We have donated over 5 million meals to 300 charitable groups to date
  • We launched the Community Chill, an initiative which provides free fridges and freezers to local groups so they can take even more food surplus to help those in need
  • We donated 20 decommissioned Grocery Home Shopping vans to charitable groups to support their surplus food redistribution programmes
  • In total we donated 976 tonnes of food from our stores, a 66% increase in donations since last year
Republic of Ireland Surplus Donations since 2014/15 (tonnes)

We also have a shared responsibility to tackle food waste from farm to fork. Working in partnership with our producers we are helping to reduce farm waste by introducing bumper crops to stores and by selling through irregularly shaped vegetables which would have otherwise gone to waste. In 2017 we introduced our first Perfectly Imperfect product, supporting long-term Irish supplier Country Crest to sell through 300 tonnes of onions which were perfectly good to eat but had slightly imperfect skin due to cold weather conditions.

In March 2017, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment established the first Action Group on Food Waste in the Retail Sector bringing together representatives from across retail to agree a series of actions that the sector will take to reduce food waste, including public reporting on food waste. In March 2018, we became a signatory of the Group’s Food Waste Charter, making a public commitment to tackling and measuring food waste in our business.

Ireland - 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 Ireland was 1.2%◊ of all food sales in 2017/18. This figure increased slightly since last year as we introduced new food ranges and products to our customers, resulting in increased food sales but also an initial increase in waste as we balanced availability.

Food waste
  2016/17 2017/18
Total food sales 544,128 tonnes 557,317 tonnes
Total food waste 5,933 tonnes 6,786 tonnes◊
Waste as % of food sales 1.1% 1.2%◊
Donations 588 tonnes 976 tonnes
Republic of Ireland - 2017/18 sales tonnage vs surplus tonnage

In total in 2017/18, we sold 557,317 tonnes of food to customers through our Irish operations. This generated:

  • 7,762 tonnes of surplus (not sold to customers)
  • 4,496 tonnes of this was fit for human consumption
  • 976 tonnes of this was donated to good causes
  • With 3,520 tonnes of food fit for human consumption going to anaerobic digestion
Ireland - 2017/18 food surplus safe for human consumption (tonnes)

While we have made progress in tackling food waste, there is still much we need to do. We won’t stop trying. 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:

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