UK Food Waste Data 2017/18

Five years ago, we made a commitment to lead on reducing global food waste in our own operations, supply chains, and in our customers’ homes. We were the first UK retailer to publish food waste data 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:

  • Community Food Connection is now in all UK stores – redistributing food safe for human consumption to local charities and community groups
  • In total we donated 7,975 tonnes of food to almost 7,000 charities from our stores and distribution centres
  • Food not taken by charities is offered to colleagues through our ‘colleague shops’ which have been rolled out to all stores

We also have a shared responsibility to tackle food waste from farm to fork. With 25 of our largest suppliers, we have announced a joint commitment to adopt SDG target 12.3, measure and publish food waste data for supplier operations and act to reduce food waste farm to fork. We are planning to build on this work over the coming year across more of our supply chains and communicate with customers on how they can reduce food waste in the home.

Innovative new products and packaging have helped customers reduce food waste in their homes. In 2017/18 we introduced resealable salad bags across our most popular salad lines and became the first UK supermarket to start selling perfectly ripe green satsumas and clementines that stay fresher for longer.

UK - 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.

As we grew our business in 2017/18 and total food sales increased, the level of waste as a % of sales remained broadly flat at 0.5%◊.

Food waste
  2016/17 2017/18
Total UK food sales 9,957,374 tonnes 10,023,559 tonnes
Total food waste 46,684 tonnes 53,126 tonnes◊
Waste as % of food sales 0.5% 0.5%◊
Donations 5,700 tonnes 7,975 tonnes
UK - 2017/18 sales tonnage vs surplus tonnage

In total in 2017/18, we sold 10,023,559 tonnes of food to customers through our UK operations. This generated:

  • 73,340 of surplus (not sold to customers)
  • 38,898 tonnes of this was fit for human consumption
  • 19,000 tonnes of this was donated, offered to colleagues or redistributed for animal feed
  • With 19,898 tonnes of food fit for human consumption going to energy recovery
UK - 2017/18 food surplus safe for human consumption (tonnes)

In 2016 we set a Target that no food safe for human consumption in our UK operations will go to waste by the end of February 2018. We have introduced a series of industry leading initiatives to meet this Target:

  • Surplus food safe for humans is offered to local charities and community groups through Community Food Connection
  • In total we donated 7,975 tonnes of food (19 million meals) to almost 7,000 charities from our stores and distribution centres.
  • Food not taken by charities is offered to colleagues through our ‘colleague shops’ now in all UK stores.
  • We send any suitable remaining bakery surplus to Animal Feed

Our latest available data, for April 2018, shows that we have reached 64% towards our ambition to eliminate all edible food waste in our stores and distribution centres. We are proud of the work our colleagues do to reduce waste, and remain the only UK retailer to publish detailed, third-party assured food waste data and encourage others to take the same step.

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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