Tesco urges government to do more to unlock innovation in food supply chains

Tesco has called on the UK government to do more to unlock innovation in UK food supply chains and support innovations to market readiness, not just at the seed funding stage.

The Big 4 grocer, in partnership with charity, WWF, is specifically calling on the government to set out timelines and process for updating outdated regulations that hinder the scaling up of late-stage innovations such as insect protein in animal feed or sustainable low-carbon fertilisers.

It is also urging them to create incentives for businesses and consumers who are early adopters of new food system innovations.

As a result, the supermarket giant has partnered with the charity to launch a new accelerator programme which pairs pioneering start-ups with the supermarket giants suppliers to fast-track sustainability innovation in its supply chain.

READ MORE: NPA urges Tesco to pay ‘fair price for pork

The Innovation Connections scheme will aim to address preventing promising sustainability innovations from being adopted at scale in food supply chains, by identifying suppliers who can help to scale up new ideas and technologies.

Applicants have been paired with long-term Tesco suppliers to pitch scale-up projects that apply their ideas in the real world of food supply chains.

The winners of the scheme, will work with Tesco’s supplier partners to pilot and scale their innovation and will each receive up to £150,000 in funding support.

“To deliver affordable, healthy and sustainable food for all, the entire food sector must innovate fast,” Tesco Group CEO Ken Murphy said.

“That’s why, as well as driving improvements in our own operations, Tesco is collaborating with innovative suppliers and start-ups.”

WWF CEO, Tanya Steele added: “We hope the launch of this new accelerator programme with Tesco will bring innovative solutions a step closer and help us achieve our goal of halving the environmental impacts of the average UK shopping basket.”

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