International news: Tesco commits to redirecting surplus food to charity

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The UK retailer has announced the nationwide rollout of Community Food Connection, which was designed to dramatically reduce the amount of food that goes to waste.

Community Food Connection is powered by FareShare FoodCloud, an open platform that helps stores and charities to work together seamlessly. The groundbreaking scheme will redirect millions of meals of Tesco surplus food to charity by the end of 2017.

Tesco also believes that, once fully developed, other retailers could adopt FareShare FoodCloud to create an industry standard platform to make a real difference to charities and communities.

“We believe no food that could be eaten should be wasted – that’s why we are committed that no surplus food should go to waste from our stores,” Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said.

“We know it’s an issue our customers really care about, and wherever there’s surplus food at Tesco stores, we’re committed to donating it to charities so we can help feed people in need.

“But we know the challenge is bigger than this and that’s why we’ve made a farm-to-fork commitment to reduce food waste upstream with our suppliers and in our own operations and downstream in our customers’ own homes.”

The scheme has already been piloted in 14 Tesco stores over the past six months and has generated more than 22 tonnes of food – equivalent to 50,000 meals.

The latest figures show 55,400 tonnes of food were thrown away at Tesco stores and distribution centres in the UK last year, of which around 30,000 tonnes could otherwise have been eaten – equivalent to around 70 million meals.