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Tesco to address food wastage in the UK

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 15:44

Tesco to address food wastage in the UK



Supermarket chain Tesco is to rethink some of its food promotions after finding a large amount of its produce goes to waste.

The British retailer, which has 150 stores in Ireland, has revealed food waste figures for its UK operations for the first time, revealing that 68 per cent of salad to be sold in bags is thrown out – 35% of it in the home.

Some 40 per cent of apples are wasted, as are just under half of bakery items. A quarter of grapes are wasted, and a fifth of all bananas are unused.

Tesco will end multi-buys on large bags of salad and is developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags. It is also removing “display until” dates from fresh fruit and vegetables and rearranging 600 in-store bakeries to reduce the bread on display.

A spokesman for Tesco Ireland said Irish wastage figures were unavailable, but the group would be “taking learnings” from the British findings.

Head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Stop Food Waste programme Odile Le Bolloch said supermarkets tended to have efficient systems to reduce food waste because they recognised it amounts to a waste of money.

The latest figures from the EPA show about 450,000 tonnes of food is wasted in Ireland during the production stage and 300,000 tonnes is wasted in households, while commercial operations including hotels, restaurants and retailers account for about 380,000 tonnes of waste.

‘Consumer expectations’
Ms Le Bolloch added that supermarkets tended to blame “consumer expectations” – a desire to see fully stocked shelves and an unwillingness to buy wonky looking fruit – for a lot of the wastage. “Baking waste is a big one. If someone comes into a shop at the end of the day and there is only one loaf of bread left they are not going to buy it because they think it has been there all day.”
 
She said supermarkets could play a greater role in educating consumers how to cut down on waste by using “intelligent packaging” and providing clear storage instructions.

A spokesman for Tesco Ireland said Irish wastage figures were unavailable

 

Source: Envirocentre

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