Our work with Tesco

In 2012, as part of a commitment to “lead on food waste globally” and recognize the opportunity to help alleviate poverty in the UK, Tesco strengthened its partnership with FareShare by ensuring surplus food within its supply chain is used to feed people.

Looking at its own operations to understand where food surplus occurred, chilled Distribution Centres and online grocery stores were identified as two major opportunities.

The Challenges: In stores providing home deliveries of online orders only, food cannot be reduced to clear, potentially leading to surplus.  This surplus is identified daily and split between a staff shop and FareShare.  A successful trial saw Tesco.com vans from all 6 online grocery stores in and around the M25 delivering food out to FareShare’s Deptford and Brighton-based regional centres daily.

Building upon the lessons and success from the dotcom project, Tesco identified the opportunity to divert surplus food from within their Chilled supply chain to support FareShare. This required subtle changes to the operational processes within depots to ensure any surplus food is identified as early as possible to ensure longest life for redistribution.

The Solution: Critical to success of this project was alignment with suppliers so food could be provided to FareShare and establishing embedded processes in the day-to-day operation at the distribution centres and online stores. Early communications is integral; on the logistics side, Tesco forecast the anticipated surplus and allocate space on planned deliveries to Tesco stores helping ensure food is delivered to FareShare in a timely manner.

Results: FareShare Regional Centres now receive regular supplies of quality fresh surplus food, from dedicated Tesco stores, providing a more reliable stream of food.  In the last 12 months alone, Tesco has provided enough surplus food for 4.7 million meals and the partnership is going from strength to strength. Now, surplus food from ambient Distribution Centres will also be redistributed to FareShare, providing an additional 700,000 meals every year. On Friday 13th November, Tesco announced that FareShare and its beneficiaries will receive a one-off donation of one million meals from Tesco. The donation will be made up of recently delisted product lines and will include tinned meat, cereals, canned fruit and vegetables.

FareShare FoodCloud: Earlier this year, Tesco partnered with FareShare and Irish social enterprise FoodCloud to roll out brand new scheme FareShare FoodCloud in Tesco stores to send unsold food to local charities rather than be wasted. After a pilot in London, the scheme is being rolled to other UK cities. Charities and community projects can register their interest here.


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Tesco dotcom vans from all 6 online grocery stores in and around the M25 deliver food out to FareShare’s Deptford and Brighton-based depots daily.

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The Neighbourhood Food Collection
Since 2012, Tesco has hosted the ‘Neighbourhood Food Collection’ twice a year in partnership with FareShare and the Trussell Trust. Working together, volunteers and Tesco staff encourage customers to donate food at collection points in Tesco stores across the country in what is now the biggest food collection in the UK. The Neighbourhood Food Collection allows FareShare access to long-life cupboard essentials that complement the predominantly fresh food that we get from Tesco and other food partners.

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Charities collect unsold food from Tesco stores thanks to the FareShare FoodCloud scheme

Our partnership with Tesco is a true example of how a retailer can  work with suppliers to tap into the surplus food that occurs in the supply chain. It allows FareShare to redistribute more of the fresh quality food that charities require in order to provide good nutritious meals to their beneficiaries.

Food poverty is a significant problem in the UK and we want to help make a difference. We have built on our relationship with FareShare ensuring that all our fresh and ambient food surplus from distribution centres and online grocery stores goes to feeding people in need. This food will provide millions of meals a year for people in the UK.” Josh Hardie, Corporate Responsibility Director, Tesco 

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Other Tesco stories

Tesco to provide food for an additional 1.7 meals to FareShare

FareShare is looking for happy helpers to volunteer at the Neighbourhood Food Collection December 15

July 14 Neighbourhood Food Collection: An astounding 3.6 million meals donated!

Brand new scheme FareShare FoodCloud to be piloted in Tesco stores to send unsold food that can be used to charities rather than be wasted

Tesco to provide seven million meals to those in need through partnership with FareShare

Tesco website: surplus food distribution

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