Tesco to act over salad ‘waste’

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Tesco is dropping some food promotions after finding that two-thirds of produce grown for bagged salad is wasted.

The supermarket giant has revealed food waste figures for its operations for the first time, revealing that 68 per cent of salad to be sold in bags is thrown out – 35 per cent of it in the home.

As a result of the findings, it is to end multi-buys on large bags of salad and is developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags in a bid to help customers reduce the amount they are wasting.

It is also removing “display until” dates from fresh fruit and vegetables, using smaller cases in stores and rearranging 600 in-store bakeries to reduce the amount of bread on display, with the aim of better stock control and less waste.

The retailer found that 40 per cent of apples are wasted, as are just under half of bakery items.

A quarter of grapes are wasted between the vine and the fruit bowl and a fifth of all bananas are unused – with customers throwing one in 10 in the bin.

Tesco said it was involved in trials with apple growers to reduce pests and disease and will provide simple tips to customers about storing the fruit after finding that more than a quarter of wastage happens at home.

It will also share tips with customers about how to use leftover bread, and is working with grape and banana suppliers to improve delivery times and conditions.

The supermarket tracked 25 best-selling products and combined information with data from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) to give an overall food waste “footprint” for each item.

The data show that in the first six months of this year, 28,500 tonnes of food waste were generated in Tesco’s stores and distribution centres.

The last figures published by Wrap in 2011 estimate that 15 million tonnes of food waste is generated each year in the UK.

Tesco commercial director of group food Matt Simister said: “We’ve all got a responsibility to tackle food waste.”

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