Tesco leads the way with food surplus donations from stores

This news release first appeared online here. Tesco Group’s CEO, Dave Lewis, is Chair of Champions 12.3. 

Tesco has revealed its food surplus redistribution initiative, Community Food Connection, has so far helped serve five million meals to more than 3,300 community groups and charities since its launch less than a year ago.

This work is a key part of the retailer’s target to ensure no food safe for human consumption goes to waste inside Tesco’s UK operations by the end of 2017.

Launched in February 2016, the initiative sees Tesco stores providing their surplus food to local charities and community groups.  The food plays a key role in helping charities feed people and, in doing so, allows the money saved to be invested in vital social services in communities across the whole of the UK.

Tesco helped develop the nationwide scheme in partnership with a small social enterprise, FoodCloud, and food redistribution charity, FareShare following a successful partnership in Ireland.

Working with FareShare, Tesco colleagues across the UK have helped enlist local charities to join the IGD award-winning initiative*.

Community Food Connection links charities and community groups to their local Tesco stores through an innovative phone app. The app lets local charities know there is surplus food available at the end of each day.

The scheme is live in over 900 Tesco stores, and work is already underway to roll it out to a further 1,800 convenience stores.

Matt Davies, UK and ROI CEO at Tesco said:

“It’s great to see the difference Community Food Connection is making in providing charities and community groups with much needed food that would otherwise go to waste. We know we still have more to do to achieve our target that no food safe for human consumption goes to waste in our UK operations, but this milestone represents important progress.

“Our colleagues are playing a vital role. Together with our partners FareShare and FoodCloud, they are helping to make sure local charities across the UK have access to surplus food from our stores.”

Charities already benefiting from the initiative include:

  • The Ace of Clubs in Brixton, which helps homeless people in South London and is now able to provide hot and nutritious meals and focus on services including helping those in need to find work and accommodation.
  • Rainbow House in Glasgow, a recovery centre offering residential rehabilitation, support and social care to help people recover from their addiction and regain control of their lives.
  • The Bethel Christian Centre in Dagenham, which regularly provides meals to unemployed, retired or isolated people in the local community.
  • Mission Trinity in Goole, East Yorkshire, which provides food to people that are struggling or homeless in the local community.

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare, said:

“This is an incredible milestone in store-level food redistribution to charities which Tesco has made possible since developing the programme with FareShare and FoodCloud.

 “Tesco has led the way with introducing such a step-change in tackling their store surplus food and having seen the scheme grow and create such impact for vulnerable people, it proves that it can deliver very obvious results which can benefit other retailers and their local communities too.”

Notes to editors:

*Tesco and Fareshare won the Sustainable Futures Award for its UK rollout of Community Food Connection at the IGD Awards in October 2016.

Tesco and FareShare have worked in partnership for the last three years on Community Food Connection, Tesco’s Neighbourhood Food Collection and on ensuring surplus food from the Tesco supply chain, distribution centres and dotcom centres is donated to the organisation to feed people in need.

Tesco Group CEO, Dave Lewis chairs the UN Sustainable Development Goals group, Champions 12.3, which aims to halve food waste globally by 2030.

Tesco believes we have a shared responsibility to reduce waste from farm to fork. Therefore the solution lies in working in partnership with producers and suppliers as well as helping customers reduce waste in the home. Visit the Tesco plc website for more details.

Charities and community groups interested in registering for Community Food Connection, can do so at  www.fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-foodcloud