Monday, 21 October 2013

MALNUTRITION: The other side of the coin: Half of Tesco bread never eaten

Almost half of all bakery items in Tesco are thrown away either in-store or by the consumer, figures from the company reveal.

Families waste £700-worth of food a year, according to one estimate Photo: Roger Taylor
Despite the launch of the Tesco and Society campaign in May, partly aimed at reducing food waste, figures released on Monday show 28,500 tonnes of food was wasted in Tesco’s stores and distribution centres in the first six months of this year alone.
A quarter of grapes supplied to the supermarket giant were never eaten, along with 40 per cent of apples and 20 per cent of bananas.
And 68 per cent of bagged salad never made it to the plate, with roughly a third of the total being thrown away in-store and the rest at home.
In response to the data, the company has announced an overhaul of its fruit and bread aisles to promote a faster turnover of produce and cut down on in-store waste.
It will rearrange 600 in-store bakeries to reduce the amount of bread on display, meaning products have less time to go stale in the air. Fruit and vegetables will also be displayed in smaller cases and will no longer carry a ‘display until’ date.
The company also announced that it will drop ‘buy one get one free’ deals and other promotions on its salads in a bid to stop customers buying produce they are unlikely to use before it goes off.
And customers will be offered tips about how to store fruit and use leftover bread.
Families waste an average of £700 a year on food that is thrown away in the home, according to the Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP), which worked with Tesco to bring in the changes.
Figures published by the organisation suggested 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away each year in the UK.
Tesco commercial director Matt Simister said: "We've all got a responsibility to tackle food waste and there is no quick-fix single solution. Little changes can make a big difference, like storing fruit and vegetables in the right way.
"Families are wasting an estimated £700 a year and we want to help them keep that money in their pockets, rather than throwing it in the bin.
"We're playing our part too and making changes to our processes and in store.”
Max Lawson, head of policy at Oxfam, which has carried out studies into the use of food banks in Britain, said he welcomed the changes but that they did not go far enough to tackle wastage.
“Wasting this amount of food when a billion people go to bed hungry every night is a scandal and only shows that our profit-driven corporate food system is broken," he said.
“A slightly better display is a good start, but it’s a long way from fixing the problem.
“It’s great news that the biggest supermarket in Britain is doing this, but we need to move beyond individual supermarkets and look at fixing the system, which will require greater regulation and action from governments worldwide.”

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