According to Tesco, around 68% of bagged salad is wasted

According to Tesco, around 68% of bagged salad is wasted

UK retail giant Tesco has vowed to change its promotional policy in a bid to fight food waste.

Tesco today (21 October) said it is dropping some of its food promotions after finding that two-thirds of produce grown for bagged salad is wasted. The supermarket giant has published food waste figures for it own operations, in conjunction with the Waste and Resources Action Programme, that claimed 28,500 tonnes of food waste were generated in its stores and distribution centres in the first six months of this year.

In particular, it found that 68% of bagged salad is wasted, with 35% of this occurring in the home, along with 40% of apples, just under half of bakery items, a quarter of grapes, and a fifth of all bananas.

In a bid to reduce this waste, the grocer has said it is ending multi-buys on large bags of salad, and instead developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags, as a first step.

It has also pledged to remove 'display until' dates from fresh fruit and vegetables, instead using smaller cases in stores and rearranging 600 in-store bakeries to reduce the amount of bread on display. The move, Tesco said, will lead to "better stock control and less waste".

"We've all got a responsibility to tackle food waste and there is no quick-fix single solution," said Matt Simister, commercial director of food at Tesco. "Little changes can make a big difference, like storing fruit and veg in the right way. Families are wasting an estimated GBP700 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. We're working with our suppliers to try to cut waste at all stages of the journey from farm to fork."

In an address to the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen today, CEO Philip Clarke will give an update on the progress made to tackle food waste six months after Tesco announced it would be one of its three 'Big Ambitions'.

"When I said earlier this year that Tesco wanted to lead in reducing food waste I wasn't just talking about reducing food waste in our own operations. I meant making a difference from the farmer's field to the customer's fridge and beyond," he is expected to tell attendees.

"We're tackling [food waste] by focusing on 25 of the most frequently purchased food items bought by our customers. We know small reductions in food waste will rapidly make a big difference in reducing overall waste levels. The output is really simple, but it gives great steer on where to act."