Tesco is trialling FareShare FoodCloud, an app which enables stores to alert local charities when surplus food is available to distribute.
Recent figures show that 55,400 tonnes of food was thrown away by Tesco stores and distribution centres over the past year – 30,000 tonnes of which could have been eaten.
Tesco already has a partnership with FareShare to redistribute some leftover food but will now use FoodCloud’s technology to pilot the scheme in ten Tesco stores in the UK.
Charities can sign up to receive alerts and then confirm whether they want to pick up the order at no cost. According to reports, Tesco anticipates that beneficiaries will include homeless hostels, women’s refuges and breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children.
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: “FareShare already has a long standing partnership with Tesco and the development of the FareShare FoodCloud is a natural evolution of this.
“We understand that customers get angry when they see food being wasted in their local store. We do too and that is why we have spent 20 years developing our successful charity redistribution model.”
In the last twelve months FoodCloud has signed up 100 stores in Ireland and redistributed 431 tonnes of food, which it says is the equivalent of one million meals, to charities and community groups.
Iseult Ward, co-founder of FoodCloud, said: “Our work in Ireland means that over 300 charities have already benefited from using the platform. It has helped us create a robust model that we have translated for the UK market.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with both FareShare and Tesco so that we can bring our solution into the UK to ensure that more charities can benefit. We are looking forward to the developments that will come about as a result of this trial.”
Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, said: “This is potentially the biggest single step we’ve taken to cut food waste, and we hope it marks the start of eliminating the need to throw away edible food in our stores.”
Charities and community groups can register their interest online.
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