Tesco: Nearly 25,000 tons of saved food against food waste
6 February 2020
Tesco has been operating its food surplus donation program in Hungary for more than five years, during which time it handed over nearly 25,000 tons of food suitable for consumption to charitable purposes. The company is the only one of the retail chains in Central Europe to regularly publish the amount of food waste generated during its operations, which is 43 percent less than in the 2016/17 financial year, according to the latest measurements. The supermarket chain thus approached the UN's 2030 target and cut the volume of food destined for disposal by nearly half.
In Hungary alone, 1.8 million tonnes of food waste is generated annually. That is, we throw away about 58 kilograms of food per head, so in fact every Hungarian household sells 10 to 11 percent of the food they buy in the trash can  . This phenomenon is unfavorable not only in material and nutritional terms but also for environmental reasons.
With a focus on sustainability, Tesco is one of the main fighters of food waste. On the one hand, the supermarket chain focuses on prevention, which uses state-of-the-art processes to keep as few items as possible on the shelves and thus become redundant or, at worst, waste. Similarly, the "Perfectly Imperfect" range available in all hypermarkets serves the purpose of selling aesthetically defective fruits and vegetables, which allows Tesco to take over the ugly but edible foods from the producers. On the other hand, Tesco has been offering food that is no longer available for sale but has yet to be consumed for charitable purposes.
In 2019, the supermarket chain donated more than 7,000 tons of food to the needy through the Hungarian Food Bank Association and its partner organizations. Tesco has saved more than HUF 4 billion worth of food, helping some 100,000 people in need.
"In more than 170 of our 202 stores, as part of our daily work, hundreds of our colleagues pick out vegetables, fruits and bakery items that are no longer available for sale but are perfectly fit for human consumption, and make them for the benefit of those in need around the stores the packages are delivered through the Food Bank and its affiliated organizations. We are proud to be able to save over 17 million portions of food last year alone. This is slightly less than last year, which is primarily due to the fact that our food waste prevention methods are working better, ”said Éva Bérces, developer and leader of Tesco Hungary's food rescue program.
The aim of the supermarket chain is to ensure that no mouth-watering food is wasted. To accomplish this, Tesco stores have contributed nearly 25,000 tons of food since the launch of the food rescue program, representing more than 62 million servings of food. However, in order for more food surpluses to be used for charitable purposes, it is necessary to expand the program, for which Tesco and the Food Bank are waiting for additional partners to apply on the non-profit association's website .
For more details on Tesco's food waste prevention program, visit https://bit.ly/38SsAez
Map of participating stores: https://bit.ly/38YGMmr