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Tesco to take ‘leading role’ in reducing food waste



Tesco has pledged to lead the way in reducing food waste, encouraging healthy eating and developing opportunities for young people as part of its 2013 corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan.

The supermarket chain has said it will use its position as one of the world’s largest retailers (it has 50 million global customers) to tackle the three social challenges.

Its first pledge – to reduce its food waste by changing the way it encourages people to buy large food purchases with short shelf lives – follows criticism of supermarkets over their excessive use of ‘bogof’ (buy one get one free) promotions.

“’Waste not want not’ is at the heart of every little helps. So it is natural for us to want to take a leading role in preventing the enormous quantities of food going to waste every day around the world”, said Philip Clare, Tesco’s chief executive, in the report.

Tesco has also pledged to increase the 100,000 meals it donates to charities each year to a million, in an attempt to alleviate food poverty and reduce the £680 worth of food wasted by UK families, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Tesco’s CSR report also states that it will encourage healthy eating by using data from its Clubcard loyalty scheme to demonstrate the healthiness of customers’ shopping contents, as well as creating opportunities for young people by inspiring, equipping and enabling these young people to succeed in the world of work”.

The report adds Tesco will “equip them with the social and specialist skills they need for work”.

Tesco’s pledge follows its involvement in the horsemeat scandal earlier in 2013. It received criticism from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), who said they were “concerned” with their use of products that contained horsemeat.

Further reading:

Post-horsemeat burgers, has Tesco returned to business as usual already?

Tesco to reduce food waste with new packaging

CSR is about ‘having mechanisms to fix market inequalities or injustices’

‘We need to go deeper with corporate social responsibility’