Tesco boss Dave Lewis tackles food waste: Unsold food given to charities in new scheme

Lynsey Barber
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Leftover food will be given to charity (Source: Getty)

Tesco boss Dave Lewis is taking steps to reduce food waste at the supermarket.

New figures reveal the company has thrown away 55,400 tonnes of food over the past year, as he announced plans to give away unsold food that is still edible to charities, helping the homeless and other vulnerable groups.

"No one wants to throw away food which could otherwise be eaten. We don't throw away much food in our own operations but even the one per cent we do throw away amounts to 55,400 tonnes," said Lewis.

The retailer estimates around 30,000 tonnes of that could otherwise have been eaten. It has now partnered with food distribution charity FoodShare so surplus food from stores can be passed on, with an initial pilot scheme at 10 locations across the UK.

"This is potentially the biggest single step we've taken to cut food waste, and we hope it marks the start of eliminating the need to throw away edible food in our stores."

Speaking to the Huffington Post, Lewis blamed the changeable British weather for the amount of food waste the supermarket produces despite efforts made in its supply chain to reduce it.

The supermarket is reducing its product range by almost 30 per cent in a bid to cut costs and streamline the business in the wake of its profit troubles.

"This is not something which is a response to short term other news in our business," Lewis said.

"We know that this is the right thing for us to be doing. We think that we have found a way in a sustainable responsible way eliminating waste in our business that could be safely consumed and we’re going after it."

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