Tesco looks to fresh produce to reduce waste

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Tesco looks to fresh produce to reduce waste

Tesco has set itself apart as the first U.K. retailer to publish its total food waste figures, highlighting major volumes of lost salads, apples and other fresh produce.tesco

The initial data indicate that Tesco wasted 28,500 tons (MT) of food across its stores and distribution centers in the first six months of the year. 2011 figures from WRAP estimated across the U.K. that 15 million tons of food is wasted a year.

By tracking the companies top 25 products, Tesco found that an outstanding 68% of bagged salad goes to waste. Just over a third of this waste happens after consumer purchase.

"As a first step in reducing this waste, Tesco is today [Oct. 21] announcing it will end multi-buys on large bags of salad and is developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags in a bid to help customers reduce the amount they are wasting at home," the company said in a public statement.

Other notable figures for waste included 40% loss of apples, around a quarter of table grapes and a fifth of bananas.

The company identified a number of methods to reduce waste along the supply chain. For apples, Tesco said it will focus on disease and pest reduction. For grapes, work is being done to test longer lasting varieties.

Bananas are expected to benefit from a new temperature control system and in-store training to improve shelf life.

Tesco also highlighted the impact of consumer waste. Group Food commercial director Matt Simister said families lose an estimated £700 a year in lost food.

The stores plan to provide home storage tips and offer smaller packaging to avoid excess waste on the consumer end.



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