35% less food waste achieved, including through cooperation with the REFRESH project

Tesco has been making efforts to reduce food waste in its stores and warehouses. A new report finds that in order to take further effective steps it is necessary to scan and measure where and how much excess food and waste is generated during its operation. The food saving activities of TESCO are closely connected to the REFRESH pilot project “Broadening the bridge”.

The report aims to give an accurate picture of the amount of food surplus and waste in order to help the chain store to be more effective in reducing waste and donating more food to those in need.

In the financial year 2017/18, Tesco Hungary sold more than 913,811 tons of food, of which 17,436 tons of was a surplus. This quantity includes food not suitable for human consumption, food donated for human consumption and food used as animal feed and waste. This means that, compared to last year's figures, food waste (excluding donations for human consumption and animal feed) decreased by 35% from 14,991 to 9764 tonnes. As a result, Tesco Hungary was able to offer 103 percent more food to charities last year. Of the 10,536 tonnes of food suitable for human consumption, 6,948 tonnes were delivered to people in need and 351 tonnes were used as animal feed, which means that 66 percent of the food waste suitable for human consumption was used for donation in Hungary. In addition, in 2017 the chain store handed over more than 5,500 tons of waste generated during its operation in Hungary to be used for the production of biogas and biodiesel.

In 2017/18, at Tesco's Central European operations, the total amount of food waste was reduced to 38,054 tonnes from 54,102 tonnes in 2016/17, which is a significant 30 percent decline over a year. Tesco donated a total of 10,639 tonnes of food on Czech, Polish, Hungarian and Slovakian markets through local food banks and charities to the people in need, which accounts for more than 25 million servings.

The food saving activities of TESCO are closely connected to the REFRESH pilot project “Broadening the bridge”. TESCO is the largest food surplus supplier of the Hungarian Food Bank Association, and the redistribution of these donations require continuous increase of the channel capacities. The “Broadening the bridge” pilot seeks to address this challenge.