How much money do we waste a year on food?

21 October 2013

Over two thirds of bagged salad is thrown away and just under half of all bakery items are wasted, according to figures from Tesco.

The supermarket giant says it has become the first UK retailer to publish its own total food waste figures, detailing wastage across it operations and supply chain, as well as analysis of waste that occurs in British households.

In total, the group said 28,500 tonnes of food waste were generated in its stores and distribution centres during the first six months of this year, while it said families waste around £700 a year by throwing away food.

The figures reveal that 40% of apples are wasted (with over a quarter of that occurring at home); a quarter of grapes are wasted "between the vine and the fruit bowl"; and a fifth of all bananas are wasted, with one in ten bananas bought by customers ending up in the bin.


Matt Simister, Tesco commercial director of group food, said: "We've all got a responsibility to tackle food waste and there is no quick-fix single solution. Little changes can make a big difference, like storing fruit and veg in the right way. Families are wasting an estimated £700 a year and we want to help them keep that money in their pockets, rather than throwing it in the bin.

"We're playing our part too and making changes to our processes and in store.  Ending multi-buy promotions on large packs of bagged salads is one way we can help, but this is just the start and we'll be reviewing what else we can do. We're working with our suppliers to try to cut waste at all stages of the journey from farm to fork."

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has estimated that 15 million tones of food is wasted a year.

Richard Swannell, director of WRAP, said: "We welcome Tesco's approach to tackling food waste across their whole supply chain, and by identifying the hot spots, they can tackle these areas effectively. Food waste is a global issue and collaborative action is essential if we are to successfully reduce food waste and reap the financial and environmental benefits of doing so."

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