Tesco has redistributed 88% of surplus food across its UK business, surpassing its own target of 85%, which was set in 2016.
According to the retailer, the target was beaten in the last year thanks largely to the supermarket’s relationships with partners including FareShare and Olio.
FareShare remains a long-standing partner, supporting nearly 8500 community groups and charities with surplus food from Tesco’s network of stores and distribution centres. Last year, Tesco donated more than 25 million meals via FareShare to charities and community groups.
Tesco has also been working with food sharing app Olio since 2020. If local charities or community groups through FareShare are unable to take any surplus food, Tesco makes it available free of charge to Olio Food Waste Heroes, who go on to redistribute it to others in their communities. In the last 12 months, Tesco donated more than 20 million meals worth of surplus food through Olio to those in local communities who need it.
In 2022/23, Tesco says it donated more food than ever before, with an average of over three million meals a month going to charities and communities. Its Community Food Connection scheme is claimed to be the largest surplus food redistribution scheme in Europe, donating over 166 million meals since 2016.
Tesco follows a food waste hierarchy when deciding the right way to handle any food surplus, with food donated to people as a priority – to charities and communities via FareShare and Olio, or free-of-charge to Tesco colleagues via its Colleague Shop initiative. Any remaining surplus is converted to pet or animal feed where possible.
“No one wants to see good food go to waste,” says Tesco Food Surplus Project Manager Cheryl Wetherburn.
“With so many people facing food insecurity in the UK, we are working harder than ever to make sure food gets to those who need it.
“We are incredibly proud of the vital work our partners do every single day, and it’s thanks to their efforts – and the hard work of all our colleagues and volunteers – that helps the food reach so many people.”