UK supermarkets create 200,000 tonnes of food waste

Supermarkets have come under fire for wasting up to 200,000 tonnes of food after restricting which suppliers can access the surplus, food distribution charities have revealed.

Independent charities under the Xcess network have claimed that they struggle to receive unwanted edible food from processors and manufacturers due to supermarket’s rules on own-brand products.

According to Anthesis research, own-brand products make up over 72% of all edible surplus food in the UK.

READ MORE: Morrisons to remove “use by” dates on milk to cut down food waste

Currently, Tesco and Asda only allow suppliers to give out surplus own-brand food to small charities through FareShare and Company Shop. This in turn prevents a wider net of smaller charities such as Bread and Butter from accessing donatable produce.

Wrap, the recycling body backed by the government, has previously called for retailers to reassess rules that restrict the redistribution of unwanted own-brand products to FareShare and Company Shop.

However, Sainsbury’s has been the only supermarket to alter its system to allow own-brand supplies to directly give out products without additional bureaucracy.

“We are already adopting the broader elements of the Wrap guidelines and onboarding charities such as The Bread and Butter Thing and City Harvest and others so they can receive food direct from our suppliers as well as from our stores, depots and FareShare as they do already.” A spokesperson from Asda said.

A Tesco spokesperson added: “We are fully compliant with Wrap’s food donation guidelines and are part of their working group which helps to create the guidance.”

“Our food donation programme is the largest of its kind in the UK and to date we have provided more than 135m meals to FareShare, supporting thousands of independent charities and food banks in communities across the UK.”

The news comes as household budgets are squeezed for the cost-of-living crisis with food prices rising by 4.4% and more families relying on foodbanks.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Roland Puleston Jones
    February 22, 2022 10:57 am

    No food should go to waste and supermarkets need to allow any food charity to register with them to collect any potential food waste so that it can be redistributed to those people who need it!


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