Reducing waste through your supply chain

It was announced on 29 January that the UK’s major supermarkets — Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, the Co-operative and Waitrose — have agreed to report on how much food they waste each year. The issue of food waste has become an increasingly hot topic, in particular following Tesco’s announcement last October that it had generated 28,500 tonnes of food waste at its stores from the first six months of 2013.

Apart from the loss to the bottom line through inefficiencies, there are governance considerations that will be driving the commitment to monitoring — and reducing — food waste. Consumers increasingly demand sustainability from the retailers — and the retailers are responding.

The retailers will not be volunteering to report on their waste volumes if they think those volumes will be rising in the future. Pressure will be put on suppliers, who in turn will put pressure on their suppliers, to reduce costs, all the way to the farm gate. How might this happen? …

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