Tesco pledges to help consumers waste less food

Exterior of Tesco Grocery Store
CC BY 3.0 Wikimedia

The UK-based grocery store chain announced its intention to help consumers reduce wasteful shopping habits.

The Guardian reports that marketing and deals lead consumers to buy more food than they will eat:

After criticism of the prevalence of supermarket "bogofs" (buy one get one frees) and other deals which help to create an annual mountain of food waste, the UK's largest retailer said its food promotions would, in the future, not be designed to encourage people to buy large amounts of food with a short shelf life.

The chain has also been criticized by the advocacy group This Is Rubbish for a lack of transparency about how much food goes to waste in its stores.

One of the ways the company hopes to help customers is by changing the way expiration dates are displayed. Further specific details of how Tesco will get consumers to waste less remain fuzzy, despite rolling out a feature about the issue on its website. The company is working to conduct consumer research with the Waste & Resource Action Programme, a nonprofit organization that's funded by several government bodies, including the European Union and the UK's Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.

It is a particularly appropriate time for Tesco to address its role in food waste. The larger issue of food waste is the central topic of this year's World Environment Day. According to the United Nation's Environment Programme, roughly one third of food produced globally isn't eaten and waste is occurring at every link of the supply chain.

Tags: Waste | World Environment Day