Tesco and FareShare: redirecting surplus food to those in need
Earlier this year, one of the biggest supermarkets in the UK announced they were rolling out a nationwide scheme to redirect millions of meals of surplus food to charity by end of 2017. Another project being highlighted by the CIEH to mark Food Safety Week, the theme of which is reducing food waste.
The Community Food Connection scheme was launched by Tesco, in partnership with FareShare FoodCloud, in March 2016. The retailer said it will reach all large Tesco stores – numbering over 800 – by the end of 2016, with all stores covered by the end of 2017.
The aim of the scheme is to help dramatically reduce the amount of food that goes to waste, which means thousands of charities all over the country will benefit from millions of pounds worth of surplus food each year.
Community Food Connection is powered by FareShare FoodCloud, an open platform that helps store colleagues and charities work together seamlessly.
Prior to the launch, Community Food Connection had been piloted in fourteen Tesco stores and generated over 22 tonnes of food, the equivalent to 50,000 meals.
Having introduced the scheme in cities and regions across the UK, such as Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton and Portsmouth, Tesco and FareShare has called for 5,000 charities and community groups to join up and receive free surplus food through the scheme.
Tesco believes that once fully developed, other retailers could adopt FareShare FoodCloud to create an industry standard platform to make a real difference to local charities and communities.
The food waste initiative was launched by Tesco CEO, Dave Lewis, who said:
“We believe no food that could be eaten should be wasted – that’s why we have committed that no surplus food should go to waste from our stores.
“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 local 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.”
Jenny Morris, Food Safety lead for the CIEH, said: “During Food Safety Week we’re highlighting the many food waste initiatives out there and Tesco and FareShare’s partnership is certainly a positive scheme which is helping redirect food to those in needed that would have otherwise gone to waste.”
For more information on Community Food Connection visit the FareShare website or watch a video to see the scheme in action.