Good practice

Supermarket collaborates with charity to reduce food waste

Supermarket collaborates with charity to reduce food waste
© Davizro Photography, #97902060, 2018, source:
Materials, Waste, Carbon
Food processing, Wholesale and retail
Low cost
Resource savings: Waste:
Diverted over 300 tonnes of food to charity since the programme began
Total cost savings:
Costs are saved by food retailers as waste removal requirements are reduced; money is also saved by food charities as they are supplied with the goods for free, whereas they normally have to pay for them
Premises and operation areas:
Supply operations, Waste and recycling
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

From food problem to food solution

  • Programme to convert food waste into a food solution brings Tesco and FoodShare, a charity, together
  • More than 300 tonnes of food diverted to those in need since the programme began

Tesco, one of the UK’s largest food retailer was looking for ways to cut food waste. It entered a partnership with FareShare, a charity which redistributes safe-to-eat food, discarded by retailers, to charities which feed poor and vulnerable groups across the UK. 

As part of the commitment to 'lead on food waste globally' and recognising the opportunity to use its scale for good in contributing to the alleviation of poverty in the UK, Tesco strengthened its partnership with FareShare to ensure surplus food within its supply chain is used to feed people.

Key benefits

This approach means charities save money by substituting food they would have needed to buy, and can provide healthier and more varied meals. Surplus food redistribution also contributes to retailers’ corporate social responsibility actions and helps enhance local community engagement.

Critical to the success of the programme was making sure the process was embedded in the day-to-day operations, and that transporting of products identified for redistribution to the FareShare depots is planned well in advance.

More than 300 tonnes of food have been diverted to those in need since the programme began. 



 “Food poverty is a significant problem in the UK and we want to use our scale to make a difference. We have built on our relationship with FareShare ensuring that all our fresh food surplus from distribution centres and online grocery stores goes to feeding people in need. These will provide seven million meals a year for people in the UK.” -- Greg Sage, Community Director, Tesco 

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