Tesco's 30,000 tonnes of chucked away food

(43 Posts)
duchesse Mon 21-Oct-13 11:36:08

Link here.

When you think of the number of people using food banks in this country, it's enough to make you weep. And I don't even think it includes the veg ploughed back into the fields by farmers because it doesn't meet their standards in terms of appearance or size.

What can shoppers do about it? Well, buy "non-perfect" veg and fruit for a start. Don't be afraid of buying stuff (especially fruit and veg) at or near its sell-by date- it will still have life left in it.

specialsubject Mon 21-Oct-13 13:29:32

somebody needs to change the fact that non-perfect veg and fruit is not accepted by the supermarkets. Go shopping on the continent and fruit and veg don't look as perfect but my god do they taste good.

it isn't the farmers wasting the stuff, it is the fact that they can't sell it because the supermarkets think that we stupid British won't buy it.

no idea how to change this.

the other thing we need to do is refuse to buy out of season food.

Tanith Mon 21-Oct-13 14:24:09

Make the supermarkets meet half the costs of returned or rejected items - that'd focus their minds.
At the moment, supermarkets can and do reject food for the most arbitrary reasons and the supplier is the only one who loses out.

flatpackhamster Mon 21-Oct-13 16:10:00

Tanith

Make the supermarkets meet half the costs of returned or rejected items - that'd focus their minds.

And who would they pass those costs on to?

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Mon 21-Oct-13 17:05:53

Stop buying bagged salad - it lasts for approximately 30 minutes and then turns into horrible brown goo. If you buy a whole lettuce and pull leaves off it lasts much longer.

duchesse Mon 21-Oct-13 17:43:01

It's virtually impossible to buy decent whole lettuce though- you can only get iceberg "lettuce', and those horrible insipid little things. Compare and contrast with almost anywhere on the continent where you can get beautiful whole lettuces in wonderful and tasty varieties. I just don't want to buy salad here- it just looks dead.

Tanith Mon 21-Oct-13 20:51:19

flatpackhamster

If Tesco are serious about cutting down on waste, they need address all their waste: that includes the rejections that never even get as far as the shop floor, but are sent straight back to the supplier because they are too big, too small, the wrong shape, the wrong colour etc. etc.

As it stands, Tesco are suggesting tinkering with sizes of salad bags, and they're expecting their suppliers and customers to do most of the work for them. It's a nice, easy PR exercise that will cost them very little.

If they had to meet half the costs of rejecting supplies out of hand instead of expecting their suppliers to foot the bill, they wouldn't reject so much because it'll impact either their shareholders or their customers.

Preciousbane Mon 21-Oct-13 21:01:50

I want to know who they questioned, what socio economic groupings and what ages did they target, a proper breakdown.

I do not throw away anything like 700 quid a year in wasted food it is incredibly rare I would even chuck away a carrot end as I know how to shop. Some people do probably waste food but I do not like a corporate multinational preaching to me.

Food waste is nothing new, the subject has been debated many times, having Tesco who have actively encouraged people to over buy with BOGOF deals really annoyed me.

duchesse Mon 21-Oct-13 21:06:35

A farmer in my village grows root veg for large supermarkets. Last year and the year before he had to plough entire fields of parsnips and carrots back in because it rained at some crucial time and they got too big for the supermarket chains. It's a criminal waste, with people up and down the country living below the breadline. This farmer made sure to tell everybody that anybody who wanted them was welcome to come and pick them up, and many people did.

MrPricklepants Mon 21-Oct-13 21:10:02

Bagged salad is the work of the devil and should be banned. The bags are too big and once opened won't keep at all.
Ban best before dates completely and only have use by dates for perishables.
Educate people through advertising etc... Regarding waste and the effects of food wastage.
Bring back home economics.

But by far the most important IMO is ban 24 hour shops with too much produce. Go to an independent bakery for your favourite type of bread at 4pm on a Saturday and you won't get it, it'll be sold out, because an independent bakery won't make so much that they potentially can't sell it. Supermarkets on the other hand over stock so that they don't run out an then chuck it away.

flatpackhamster Mon 21-Oct-13 21:12:42

Tanith

If they had to meet half the costs of rejecting supplies out of hand instead of expecting their suppliers to foot the bill, they wouldn't reject so much because it'll impact either their shareholders or their customers.

I ask again. Who do you think Tesco will pass the costs on to?

waikikamookau Tue 22-Oct-13 07:28:13

should we be eating salad in October? is it seasonal ? and british grown. and that means No to bananas as well. could you manage without bananas?

waikikamookau Tue 22-Oct-13 07:29:54

I wouldn't buy a bogof on food that I couldn't eat. i.e two bags of salad. what a waste. and I buy bags of salad but on the whole eat them.

waikikamookau Tue 22-Oct-13 08:06:33

[[ tips http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-24609526]]

waikikamookau Tue 22-Oct-13 08:06:55
sleeplessbunny Tue 22-Oct-13 08:09:44

we have started getting a veg box from the local farm and it has really opened my eyes to what veg is seasonal, and what it can actually look like! it is always very tasty and it doesn't seem expensive. I think supermarkets have distorted my view of what is normal.

Ragwort Tue 22-Oct-13 08:10:22

How is the food waste 'monitored' - do researchers go through dustbins to record how much stuff is thrown away confused.

Andy why can't more produce be donated to food banks; I volunteer at a food bank & we have been negotiating with a supermarket (not Tesco) to collect and distribute their 'out of date' food - in the end it was just not possible because of all the petty rules and red tape that was involved. So it is 'easier' for the supermarkets to just destroy it. sad.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 22-Oct-13 08:10:40

I'm struggling to believe the numbers, I'm afraid. When I used to work for a major retailer waste... and that included food reduced for quick sale at the end of the day as well as anything disposed of... was a key perfomance criteria. Stores that recorded anything above 1% lost that way were put on special measures, managers got sacked etc. Products that were regularly generating high waste were simply de-listed... removed from the range.

Don't blame supermarkets for the food that doesn't make it onto the shelves, however. Put out a box of loose carrots and, after customers have picked through it, the bent or damaged ones will still be there at the bottom. So no point having it on the shelf in the first place. 'Buy non perfect veg' is a nice idea but doesn't work in practice.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 22-Oct-13 08:14:48

"How is the food waste 'monitored'"

Store staff have to record everything that is either reduced for quick sale or disposed of so that there is an audit trail balancing goods in and goods out. Sales based ordering stock control is pretty sophisticated - everything sold is replenished - but if they order in, for example, a lot of lettuces and BBQ ribs anticipating a warm bank holiday and the weather suddenly turns cold, that can generate losses. It's basically not in any retailer's interest to throw something away.

Ragwort Tue 22-Oct-13 08:28:19

Cogito - thanks, but what I am really thinking about is the figures that relate to normal households who obviously don't have monitoring systems, or does this survey only relate to supermarket waste? I often read statistics such as 'the average household throws away £700 worth of food pa' - how is this worked out.

I admit to throwing out food occasionally - obviously I try to buy the right amount but if it is the difference between throwing it out (if it can't be frozen/turned into another meal etc) or eating it and getting even fatter then I would throw it out grin.

duchesse Tue 22-Oct-13 08:30:06

So all those leftover bent and damaged carrots could then be bagged up and popped in the marked down area at 10p. Someone will buy them.

waikikamookau Tue 22-Oct-13 08:44:31

it seems they are using it as an excuse to cut back on their bogof offers, just a marketing ploy to give us guilt, or to explain themselves.

pot39 Tue 22-Oct-13 10:58:14

Good point duchesse.
We are all to blame on this one, consumers and supermarkets.
Fewer people cook from scratch, and can't frankly be bothered to wash lettuce.
Supermarkets present everything so beautifully that customers over buy.
There's a generation of people so removed from food source that they have no idea what's in season so they eat insipid blueberrries and hard strawberries all year round.
A purely practical point, if you do your weekly shop on a hot day, you are more likely to include salads on your menu plan for the week and will buy salad. Then it rains and the north wind blows, suddenly baked potatoes, chicken and peas is more attractive.
I suspect that households with teenagers waste v little food, if we are the norm. Perhaps an apple a week ends up in the compost, that's it.

duchesse Tue 22-Oct-13 12:15:08

Too true, pot! We hardly waste anything- it all goes into the three teenagers and/ or gets processed into delicious soup (leftovers, slightly manky-looking veg, etc...). Soup is so easy to make and hides a multitude of things.

flatpackhamster Tue 22-Oct-13 12:17:38

Ragwort

Cogito - thanks, but what I am really thinking about is the figures that relate to normal households who obviously don't have monitoring systems, or does this survey only relate to supermarket waste? I often read statistics such as 'the average household throws away £700 worth of food pa' - how is this worked out.

The numbers are made up in the tiny heads of the fantasists who work for WRAP. This quango has form. A few years ago they claimed people were throwing away 1/3 of their food. When the figures were inspected closely WRAP had classified teabags and bones (amongst other inedibles) as 'food'.

The sooner WRAP is tossed on the bonfire of the quangos and its worthless unemployables turfed out on to the streets, the better.

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