This year has been if anything a succession of pledges made by supermarkets to reduce food waste, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s both making amends to help clear shelves.
Just months after its introduction of Perfectly Imperfect vegetables, Tesco has made a new announcement concerning its fine bean produce.
A helping hand to bean growers
The new partnership, announced this week between the supermarket and Kenyan produce growers, will save roughly 135 tonnes of fine bean crop from going to waste every year. Simultaneously, Tesco customers are expected to benefit from the deal by being able to buy fresher products.
Until now growers were required to deliver the fine beans within an exact specification that dictated their size – before being packed and shipped to the UK.
Tesco commercial director for fresh food, Matt Simister, said:
“We have listened to our customers who have told us that they want great tasting, quality fresh produce over uniformed sizing.
“This new partnership with our growers in Kenya is a great example of how we are delivering on that promise to customers while also ensuring we prevent food that could be eaten, going to waste.
“Our overall aim is to use as much of the edible crop as possible. In some cases, we believe that our specifications – such as with the fine beans – can be widened to accommodate more of the crop.”
As a result of the new measures, 15 per cent of the vegetables will no longer go to waste.
Marks & Spencer pledges food in Pontefract, West Yorkshire
In other uplifting news, the Pontefract branch of Marks and Spencer has pledged to cut its food waste while at the same time supporting the nearby Prince of Wales Hospice.
The store is set to donate surplus food to the hospice as part of a national scheme to cut food waste by one fifth by 2020.
The Halfpenny Lane hospice is set to benefit from two donations a week, receiving fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes, and other groceries. The food will be prepared and enjoyed by patients, their families and the carers within the hospice.
Head cook at the hospice, Jillian Evans, said:
“The donation of surplus food from M&S is already making a big difference here at the hospice.
“Our patients have been able to enjoy a range of sweet treats, donated by the store, which we otherwise wouldn’t have the budget to provide.
“We’ve also been provided with essential ingredients such as bread, fruit and vegetables which we use to prepare patient meals.”
The supermarket branch, which chose the hospice as its charity of the year, is also to donate food to other local charities in the area.
Finance and operations section manager at Marks and Spencer Pontefract said:
“The team is thrilled to be supporting the hospice by donating surplus food. The donation is part of the store’s ongoing work with the local community and our staff are really engaged with the scheme.”