Tesco shares ingenuous way to get food for free

Tesco advert outlines work company does with FareShare

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Tesco is one of many supermarkets that reduces items that are reaching their sell-by date. But, not all yellow-sticker items end up getting sold, resulting in masses of food waste if they are unable to supply it to a food bank, charity or food recycling point. Last year, Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with a food sharing app to provide unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community and prevent it from going to waste. A year on and they have announced more than 3,700 Food Waste Heroes have helped save 5.6million meals from Tesco, with more than 72,000 people benefitting from the food. 

Since August 2020 to August 2021, the weight of the food Tesco saved is 2,352,000 kg which is equivalent to 196 London double-decker buses. 

And the partnership with OLIO builds on Tesco’s existing food surplus donations programme, including its Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare. 

That scheme, which has been running since 2016, has provided more than 120 million meals of food to charities and community groups across the UK.

FareShare supports frontline charities and community groups working with children – from summer holiday clubs and breakfast clubs to community kitchens, and groups which supply food parcels to those facing food insecurity.

So how does OLIO and Tesco’s partnership work? 

OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so and take it back to their homes.  

The items are then immediately uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be re-distributed free to those living nearby as well as to community groups. 

OLIO app users can then pick items up, from an agreed, contact-free collection point. 

Tesco Head of Communities, Claire De Silva said: “Tesco is committed to tackling food waste and we were confident our partnership with OLIO would help with that, but its impact has exceeded all our expectations. 

“For our partnership to have diverted more than 5 million surplus meals from going to waste in its first year is a huge achievement and shows the strength of the partnership between our store colleagues and OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes.” 

Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “Our partnership with Tesco has been a huge success this year, and we’re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that would have otherwise been wasted to communities across the UK. 

“Tesco has been a true pioneer.

“But our work is far from done. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste and supporting local communities.

“Just imagine what we could achieve if every business followed their lead.”

Tesco has led the way in tackling food waste for many years. 

It has not sent any food waste to landfill since 2009, and in 2013 Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data.

How to use the OLIO app: 

  • To share, users simply snap a picture of their items and add them to OLIO.
  • Neighbours then receive customised alerts and can request anything that takes their fancy. 
  • Pickup is arranged via private messaging within the app, and often takes place the same day. 
  • 50 percent of all food listings added to the app are requested in less than one hour.
  • 80 per cent of listings are food, however, OLIO also has a non-food section where items such as toiletries, cosmetics, kitchen equipment, books, toys and clothes are also shared. 
  • All listings added to OLIO are given away for free. 

Express.co.uk recently reported one savvy shopper picked up a variety of baked goods for free by using the OLIO app. 

OLIO is available as a mobile app (iOS and Android) and a web app on www.olioex.com

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