Tesco is giving more than 3,500 suppliers the chance to alleviate costs and expand environmentally friendly practices by taking part in a new scheme where they can sell or transfer unwanted products to other suppliers.
The unique trade system called Tesco Exchange will be a digital “marketplace” where suppliers with too much stock – “crops, by-products, ingredients or packaging” – can donate it or have it purchased by those whose inventory is short.
“Excess stock or waste for one supplier could be a valuable commodity to another,” Sarah Bradbury, Tesco Quality Director, said. “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.”
Suppliers will be able to advertise their items online, as well as post products they need. As with other websites, Tesco Exchange will allow for free flow of transactions and alerts, with suppliers able to notify others when they are looking for, or trying to, give up some of their stock.
G’s Group has taken quick advantage of the site to try to get rid of its beetroot peelings, which can be highly valued by livestock farmers. In the process, as G’s delivers those goods to others they are reducing waste. It is estimated that UK growers, suppliers, wholesalers and retail stores, along with customers, throw away nearly three million tonnes of food in some form.
“Tesco Exchange is a great example of an initiative that 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,” Dr Julian Parfitt, Technical Director at Anthesis, the sustainability activator and developer of Tesco Exchange, said.
As many retailers are keen to knock down food waste, Tesco is working directly with 107 suppliers to try to halve food waste in its operations by 2025 and reach net zero by 2050.