Tesco has launched a new online marketplace designed to allow suppliers to swap surplus stock, and in the process reduce waste and production costs.
Dubbed the "Tesco Tinder," the Tesco Exchange app is being made available to more than 3,500 Tesco suppliers. It works by matching suppliers who have too much of a product, be it crops, by-products, ingredients or packaging, with other Tesco suppliers that need it.
Mirroring similar consumer marketplaces, the online portal allows suppliers to advertise surplus stock for sale, post requests for things they need, and agree on sales or donations between each other.
The service is already up and running and Tesco said one of the first listings saw food manufacturer G's Group, which supplies pickled beetroot to Tesco, advertise that it had tonnes of beetroot peelings available that could be used by a livestock farm as cattle feed.
"Excess stock or waste for one supplier could be a valuable commodity to another," said Sarah Bradbury, Tesco quality director. "By linking different farmers, producers and manufacturers together, our suppliers can find new ways to trim their bills, reduce waste and keep delivering great value for our customers."
Tesco said the service was part of its wide-ranging program to tackle food waste in its supply chain … in support of its target to halve food waste in its operations by 2025 and reach net zero across its entire value chain by 2050.
The exchange was developed by consultancy Anthesis, and Julian Parfitt, technical director at the company, hailed it as a great example of the kind of initiative the food industry "needs to embrace and support in order to directly address commitments on food waste, the circular economy, and move towards more sustainable and resilient supply chains."
Tesco said the service was part of its wide-ranging program to tackle food waste in its supply chain. It added that by working directly with 107 of its global suppliers it had already helped to collectively reduce food loss and waste by 78,000 tonnes in support of its target to halve food waste in its operations by 2025 and reach net zero across its entire value chain by 2050.
However, the company and the wider farming and supermarket sectors face a huge challenge in delivering on their waste reduction goals. According to a recent study from Tesco and WWF in the U.K. alone more than 3 million tonnes of food waste is generated before produce even leaves the farm.