Tesco's Dave Lewis: The Booker takeover means we can buy more and waste less

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Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis is the chairman of food waste pressure group Champions 12.3

Tesco boss Dave Lewis has said reducing food waste is a factor behind the supermarket’s £3.7bn takeover of wholesaler Booker.

The tie-up will enable the combined group to buy a larger proportion of crops each producers. This allows it to both reduce its spend and ensure the residual food doesn't go to waste, Lewis said.

Read more: Why Tesco could be better off leaving Booker on the shelf

“Because of the Booker opportunity we’ll now be able to buy across 100 per cent of that crop rather than just 70 per cent that we could at Tesco, and that means we’ll be able to reduce the food waste,” he said, according to reports by Reuters.

The Tesco/Booker deal is to be put under the microscope by competition authorities and Lewis, who has worked hard to improve Tesco’s image since taking over in 2014, said there were a number of other ways in which the takeover would cut costs.

According to Lewis, “out of home” food and catering markets was a sector the newly combination could grow into and he targeted profit savings from this of around £200m in three years time.

Read more: Analysts applaud Dave Lewis' efforts to turn around Tesco

The Tesco leader was speaking in his capacity as the chairman of food waste pressure group Champions 12.3. Initially formed out of the United Nations, the campaign organisation is a group of executives that have a target of halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030.

Champions 12.3 estimates $940bn is lost globally as a result of food waste, despite one in nine of the world’s population being malnourished.