Tesco has teamed up with food campaigners to battle the national scandal of food waste, launching the Community Food Connection programme on 6 March to feed hungry people in Scotland.
The retail giant has partnered with FareShare – a charity group that helps save good food destined for waste – to provide community groups with nutritious meals to feed vulnerable people. FareShare provides food to approximately 200,000 people per week. Gillian Kynoch of FareShare hoped that other grocers follow in Tesco's footsteps by setting up similar schemes to help feed the hungry. The supermarket chain has tied up with a company called FoodCloud that helps businesses redistribute surplus food to people who need it.
As part of the drive, Tesco will keep track of 26 of their Scottish stores and ensure that the surplus produce is used properly, instead of being discarded as waste. Employees at 19 of its Glasgow stores and seven of its Edinburgh stores will list surplus products, which will be posted online for community groups to claim.
While communities are expected to sign up with Tesco in advance, each of its stores will be linked to a maximum of nine groups. The company hopes to extend the drive and include 100 of its Scottish stores by the end of 2016.
Wendy Weir of Granton Youth Centre in Edinburgh said: "We'll save so much money. We've had budget cuts, so this is a godsend."
In 2014, Britain was named as the most wasteful country in the European Union, dumping 14m tonnes of food every year. While manufacturing, retail and wholesale sectors accounted for about 30% of this waste, households were the larger culprits accounting for more than half. According to new regulations in France, destroying or dumping edible food by large supermarkets is considered a crime, the Daily Record reported.