Tesco has revealed it has stopped over five million meals going to waste in the past year, thanks to its partnership with food sharing app Olio.
The Big 4 grocer partnered with Olio in August last year aiming to provide unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community and prevent it from going to waste.
In the first full year of the partnership, Olio’s network of more than 3700 “Food Waste Heroes” has helped to save 5.6 million meals from Tesco stores being wasted, with more than 72,000 people benefitting from the food.
The partnership builds on the Big 4 grocers existing food surplus donations programme, including its Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare.
The scheme, which has been running since 2016, has provided more than 120 million meals of food to those in need around the UK.
Olio Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so and take it back to their homes. The items are then immediately uploaded onto the Olio app, ready to be re-distributed free to those living nearby as well as to community groups.
“Tesco is committed to tackling food waste and we were confident our partnership with Olio would help with that, but its impact has exceeded all our expectations,” Tesco head of communities Claire De Silva said.
“For our partnership to have diverted more than five million surplus meals from going to waste in its first year is a huge achievement and shows the strength of the partnership between our store colleagues and Olio’s Food Waste Heroes.”
Olio co-founder Saasha Celestial-One added: “Our partnership with Tesco has been a huge success this year, and we’re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that would have otherwise been wasted to communities across the UK. Tesco has been a true pioneer.
“But our work is far from done. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste and supporting local communities. Just imagine what we could achieve if every business followed their lead.”
In 2013, Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data and since 2009, it has not sent any food waste to landfills.