In a move, that can only be seen as a universal positive, Tesco’s chief executive has said that he does not feel ‘comfortable’ throwing out thousands of tonnes of food waste each year when it could go to helping people in need. If that isn’t putting your money where your mouth is I don’t know what is. An enormous cooperation is finally making the effort to actually help those in a difficult situation when they are under no obligation to do so.
This pledge come following new statistics being published by Tesco which happened to reveal that the company threw away 55,400 tonnes of food in the past year. Some of that of course was completely inedible, however the statistics showed that somewhere around 30,000 tonnes of the food waste was perfectly edible.
The food which found its way to the waste pile most frequently came from the bakery, this was closely followed by fresh fruit and vegetables and convenience items like pre-packaged sandwiches and salads. All of this food can now actually be put to good use.
All of these items will now make their way instead of to the bin into the hands of women’s refuges, homeless hostels and breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children. These particular groups are not the only areas this food will go to though, there are many other schemes which have yet to be named officially which will receive food stuffs from the supermarket giant.
The reason there is so much food currently being wasted is that it is often policy for food in shops must be removed from shelves once it has passed its sell by date. This is despite the fact that this food is still perfectly good for human consumption.
Tesco will be the first supermarket in Britain to tackle this problem, but hopefully not the last, the company has stated that they hope that many homeless or starving families will benefit.
The scheme of giving unsold food to charities is already active in Ireland but will now be piloted in ten Tesco stores in the UK with the aim to expanding if the schemes is seen as successful.
Britain has 445 foodbanks, according to The Trussell Trust charity, and distributed emergency food to almost 1.1 million people in 2014-15, that is an increase of 200,000 over the previous year where 913,000 used the service. The widening of that gap could be due to a number of factors but most likely it is due to stagnant wages which has resulted in less money being available for food.
Hopefully Tesco is but the first in a long line of supermarkets who consider this to be a viable option. Wasting that much food seems simply absurd considering there are so many people who could benefit from what is being thrown away. This is a step in the right direction, nobody should have to go hungry when there is this much to spare.