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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.

scaevola Tue 14-Jan-14 07:10:24

Tescos does send food to food banks (including donations collected in store) and to other local charities.

I think all the big supermarkets do. But not everything wasted goes to good causes and I'm not sure where exactly along the producer/retailer/consumer all the waste being discussed here originates.

(I've just seen on another thread the the Pope had recently spoken out against wasting food; in terms of encouraging people to think about oversupply on some parts of the globe and woeful conditions in others).

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-Jan-14 06:55:30

As it's mostly fresh, perishable food that this affects, there is a move in the industry to remove shelf-lives from some products completely and extend others. This would probably work fine in large superstores with a high turnover of stock and daily deliveries but not so much in smaller outlets and convenience stores who, pre-date-codes, were the worst offenders for fobbing customers off with dangerously old food.

The sequence of events otherwise is to sell at full price and reduce anything at the end of its life for a low price. If it still doesn't sell and is still within the date code it is offered to staff for a token amount. All of these price reductions are classed as 'waste'. It's only once the shelf life has expired that the item is disposed of. And no... you can't give out of date food to the poor because they don't deserve food poisoning any more than the rest of us.

Carlat86 Mon 13-Jan-14 22:19:29

Personally I think the waste should go to charity soup kitchens or food banks. But could you imagine the kind of press it would attract? 'Tesco sends dangerously out of date food to poor families' its got DM sensationalism written all over it. They'll probably find a family that were disgusted to find a stale bread slice or slightly green carrot in their food parcel. And then they'll no doubt be a chancer that gets food poisoning from eating something on its sell by date.
It's terrible that these supermarkets throw away as much as they do but can see why they can't just give it away.

Pointeshoes Wed 30-Oct-13 10:14:09

Worked at tescos for a year. It shocked me how much waste there was in the first months, literally trays and trays of things like peppers, bread off the bakery, salad. This was due to the shop being new and higher people ordering too much of one item, and not knowing how much they would sell. Also they used to send us the stock from other stores to try and sell , or mostly just bin as it was sent the same day it would need to be thrown out (sell by date). Awful waste of food but we couldn't sell it as it was out if date and is against the law! Even though it was perfectly fine.

peteneras Sat 26-Oct-13 11:26:56

I've seen stacks of perfectly fresh cakes and biscuits (to me anyway) removed from shelves to be replaced by equally fresh cakes and biscuits at Tesco's. The difference is, those removed are at the end of their shelf life and are to be binned and their replacements have new shelf lives.

I asked the manager (my friend) why aren't the removed products given to charities, food banks, etc. Personally, I'd have no problems eating them myself!

He replied, "We are not prepared to be sued in court by people who claim to have suffered food poisoning or other ailments after consuming our food, which may or may not be true".

So, to the skip they go!

columngollum Sat 26-Oct-13 08:54:40

If you priced the bent or non-perfect ones differently they wouldn't sit there at the end of the day. Start with potatoes! At the stupid prices they are at today I can guarantee that all the misshapen ones would be gone in a jiffy.

duchesse Tue 22-Oct-13 21:48:28

Despair even.

All you need is a saucepan, knife and £10 hand blender.

duchesse Tue 22-Oct-13 21:47:04

FFS! thlhmm One of simplest of all dishes. I dispair...

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 22-Oct-13 21:45:39

I was once soundly flamed on MN for suggesting making soup as a simple way to cut waste and save money. smile Apparently... not everyone has the cookery skills and equipment required to cook soup!!!

duchesse Tue 22-Oct-13 21:43:20

Cheddar, I never cook anything for Saturday lunch- we almost always just have a potluck leftover buffet. Gets rid of a lot of them. Any leftover veg goes into soup.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 22-Oct-13 21:42:20

It's not a tax deduction, quite the opposite. If an item has cost £1 to get on the shelf and is selling for £1.50 there's 50p profit. Throw that item away and you have to sell three others to compensate for the loss in revenue.

3asAbird Tue 22-Oct-13 20:03:01

Cog agree theres waste but also shrinkage.

All reduced items and thrown away went down a shrinkage.

Have worked for 3diffrent supermarkets.

Sainsburys and tesco far too skingy with reductions and would rather bin.

co-op and morrisions are here.

Often wondered if wasteie loss is maybe a deduction on tax?

Sales based ordering often gets it and cant respond quick to weather changes ie bbq, rolls and salads.

Hardly any manual ordering now which think creates more waste.

Also bakeries do sale or return deals.

specialsubject Tue 22-Oct-13 14:39:21

tooextra and others - why not have a 'use-it-up' week? Should save a fortune. And fish pie easily lasts three days in my fridge, although it rarely gets the chance.

and don't buy pre-wrapped if loose is available (everything except spuds) - cheaper to buy loose, anyway.

rosa - oh, for Mediterranean produce. I buy very little fruit now because it is all so horrible in the UK, so have happily just done a huge batch cook of stewed apple from a tree which really TASTES. Our home-grown veg is ending now so that's it for tomatoes this year - can buy them in supermarkets but they are tasteless.

bluebell234 Tue 22-Oct-13 14:35:27

why don´t they decrease the prices so people can buy more easily and their waste will be less.
I can´t believe that much is wasted, it is unbelievable.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 22-Oct-13 13:52:08

"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."

True but they would still register as 'waste' because they've had to be reduced from their original retail price.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Tue 22-Oct-13 13:47:12

Well, my household wastes quite a lot of food. blush We try to meal-plan and do a big shop, but then halfway through the week DH one of us will decide that really, they want something else for dinner, or we can't be bothered cooking and have toast instead, or something. Or we'll have cooked say, fish pie, and it will be bigger than anticipated and after eating it for 2 days the remainder will go off. We have a freezer full of plastic tubs of bits of meals, which we never seem to eat. Or we go a bit mad buying vegetables which don't get cooked in time. I think perhaps we should stop buying eg a packet of ready-wrapped leeks, because we use 2 and the third goes off. Ditto things like bags of green beans.

Ragwort Tue 22-Oct-13 13:02:38

flat - thanks for that, agree Wrap ought to wrap up, what a waste of money that organisation is - they would do better going round the supermarkets, collecting the excess food and delivering it to the food banks grin.

Rosa Tue 22-Oct-13 12:25:28

In Italy ( where I am) thank heavens we still have seasonal food. So I buy what is in season and it tastes so much better than the stuff out of season that we get in the UK. We have 2 or 3 types of bagged lettuce ( not half an aisle). The supermarkets in the Uk seem think we want peaches all year round but really do we..hard and no flavour . the same with veg?
For me the excess should be offered to food banks or soup kitchens . Also there should be a section of heavily discounted items due to expire within 24 hrs or whatever. I know that some places do this from 7pm the day before.. Getting something for an item is surely better than binning it.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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