U.K.: Tesco launches initiative to fight food waste
Tesco salads and citrus will be fresher for longer as part of a food waste drive that cuts one food packing stage from the retailer's supply chain.
Launched today, Tesco's new food wasting saving scheme includes several fresh produce items including citrus, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli and celery.
"For millions of our customers this move will mean having up to an extra two days in which to enjoy some of the most popular fruit and vegetables," Tesco Group food commercial director Matt Simister says in a release.
"The extra days of freshness will particularly benefit customers who are pressed for time and mean they are less likely to throw away food.
"The move is part of our efforts to not only help busy families plan ahead but also to help customers reduce waste at home too."
The supermarket chain examined its supply chain to investigate ways to speed up the process by which freshly picked produce arrives in store.
It used data from the U.K.'s Waste and Resources Reduction Action Program (WRAP) and statistics showing seven million metric tons (MT) of food are thrown away annually by British households, at a cost of £700 (US$1,083) to the average family with children.
Tesco says this latest initiative is part of its ongoing commitment to identify efficient ways to work closely with producers. Advancement in packing and storing means it is now possible to ship produce directly from European suppliers.
Cutting transit time results in produce arriving faster, and therefore fresher with a longer shelf life.
"WRAP's produce life research identified a number of simple and safe ways to make changes throughout the supply chain to pass on more product life to shoppers," says WRAP director Dr. Richard Swannell.
"Giving people more time to eat the food they buy reduces the risk of food being wasted. Our report estimates some 250,000 tons of food waste could be prevented by a one day increase in product life, food wasted by households and by the supply chain.
"Preventing this volume of waste means U.K. shoppers have a potential shared saving of up to £500 million (US$773 million) a year. I'm delighted Tesco has used this guide to examine a range of products."
The following WRAP data shows the latest food waste and avoidable food waste in relation to fresh fruit and vegetables (the single biggest proportion of food in the U.K. that is thrown away).