Tesco Ireland to cut food waste in half by 2030

Published by Sorcha McManigan on

September 28th, 2017

Tesco Ireland has announced plans to halve the company’s food waste by 2030.

Five out of 24 of Tesco’s Irish suppliers have pledged to assist Tesco is tackling can tackle the source of waste along their supply chain in Ireland.

The Irish companies – Ornua, Keepac, Hilton, Green Core and Kerry Group – will supply Tesco with food waste data within 12 months.

Speaking at the Champions 12.3 in New York last week, Tesco chief executive David Lewis outlined how partnerships with suppliers will be key to reducing Tesco’s food waste.

Tesco also pledged to publicly release their annual food waste figures and will become the first Irish retailer to publish food waste data independently assessed by the Food Loss & Waste (FLW) Protocol.

Launched in 2013, the FLW Protocol is a multi-stakeholder effort to develop the global accounting and reporting standard.

According to Christine Heffernan, Corporate Affairs Director at Tesco Ireland, the data has “identified certain hotspots in our business”.

“We are acknowledging inevitably as a food business we will always have food waste and we recognise that we have a dual obligation firstly to reduce the amount of food waste but secondly where we do have food waste to make sure that goes to good,” she said.

Tesco has also launched The Community Chill campaign, which will see funding made available for fridges and freezers to 260 community groups, including FoodCloud, in a bid to help with obstacles around storing food surplus.

Christine Heffernan, Corporate Affairs Director, Tesco (right); Anna Daly, TV3 Presenter (left) Photo: Sorcha McManigan

The initiative will see the retail giant commit to a zero-waste policy on food that is legally deemed suitable for human consumption and donation by 2020. The company said that it has donated four million meals of surplus food to date.

FoodCloud CEO Iseult Ward said that the hundreds of charitable groups they work with across Ireland “could really benefit from additional food donation but can’t due to the lack of storage facilities”. “Tesco’s Community Chill campaign is a great solution to overcome this issue,” she added.

When asked about plans to reduce plastic food packaging, Ms Heffernan said that Tesco Ireland would “really need to think clearly and think carefully about the unintended consequences of that”.

“It does extend its code life and it is a means of giving information but having said all that yes of course there is an opportunity for us to reduce packaging and we are looking at that actively,” she added.

Tesco has encouraged other charitable or community groups to get in touch online to sign up to their campaigns: www.tesco.ie/notimeforwaste

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Sorcha McManigan

Sorcha has a Degree Honours in Journalism with French from DIT and is passionate about social issues and radio production