Research: Tesco.

I emailed Tesco to find out what they did with their waste, as a friend of mine used to work at a Tesco extra and said they disposed of it on site. I wanted to know what their policy was as there wasn’t as much on their website as any of the other supermarkets.

I simply asked what they did with the waste from the store, both that was date expired and was pulled of for quality.

Dear Larysa

Thanks for your email.

I’d love to be able to help. At Tesco, we aim to reduce food waste as much as possible.

I formerly worked in a large Tesco store in Cardiff in the fresh foods section and reducing waste was a key part of ensuring that the business was as profitable as possible and also ethical.

We used to identify any food which was approaching its use by date at the start of the day, we would use handheld computers to scan the shelves and it would identify any concerns but we would also check every product to see whether it could be reduced.

If the products could be reduced i.e. if they were approaching their use by date, I would add an initial reduction in price of around thirty per cent, which would encourage sales and reduce waste. I would then add these items to the reductions section and check how the sales were going throughout the day, I would then reduce the items to around fifty per cent off at around 5pm and then further review the sales.

At the end of the day, if there was anything left, I would reduce the products to around ninety per cent off, to make them sell. This is just one real life example of how Tesco operates when it comes to reducing food waste.

Tesco became the first major UK retailer to publish its own total food waste figures. We’ve tracked twenty five bestselling products to understand levels of food waste and where it occurs from farm to fork. Our Data has revealed sixty eight per cent of all salad grown for bagged salads ends up wasted. We have announced new initiatives, including action on promotions, to tackle this problem.

We have unveiled new food waste figures for our operations and supply chain that shows sixty eight per cent of bagged salad is wasted and thirty five per cent of this waste occurs in the home.

As a first step in reducing this waste, we have announced that we will end multi-buys on large bags of salad and we are developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags in a bid to help customers reduce the amount they are wasting at home.

There’s an interesting article here about food waste in the UK:

Responsible waste management and recycling is something we take seriously at Tesco. We are a signatory to WRAP’s Courtauld 2 Commitment which means that we have signed up to reduce UK household food and drink waste by 4% and to reduce traditional grocery product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 5%. We are already making great strides towards these targets. WRAP recently reported that, since 2006/7, household food and drink waste has fallen by 13%.

In addition, we have signed a voluntary agreement through the IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) to contribute towards an industry wide target to recycle 150,000 tonnes and eliminate 75,000 tonnes of waste by the end of 2012 (against the baseline year of 2009).

Since 2009 we have sent no waste from our UK stores directly to landfill. Since 2009 we have also prevented 1,600 tonnes of plastic going to landfill through our UK hanger recycling programme where customers can leave unused hangers at checkout to be reused or recycled, and we hope to increase this to 5,000 tonnes a year from 2011/12.

I hope this helps and I wish you every success for your research project. If I can help with anything else, please let me know.

Kind regards,

Rhys Jones

Tesco Customer Service

To sum up this did not really help me at all, as it was just things that I already knew and was almost an automated response to what they thought I wanted to hear.

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