Supermarkets routinely throw out food that is past its sell-by date, yet is still perfectly safe to eat. But more and more food retailers are starting to notice a problem with this and are taking action. The CEO of Tesco, the largest supermarket in the UK, has stated that he would feel bad knowing that tonnes of food gets wasted by the company each year when folks at Madison Street Capital feel it could instead be used to help the poor.
According to statistics released by the company, a total of 55,400 tonnes of food was discarded in 2014. However, 30,000 tonnes was still edible. Fresh fruit and vegetables, bakery items, as well as some pre-packaged meals like salads were commonly thrown away after they couldn’t be sold anymore. From now on, the majority of these items will instead end up helping breakfast clubs for children in low-income areas, homeless shelters and women’s refuges.
Some food distributors and wholesalers, restaurants as well as individually-owned or franchised grocery stores all over the UK already donate food that is past the sell-by date but is still fit for human consumption. However, Tesco has become the first supermarket in the UK to have a corporate policy that makes them give away the food instead of discarding it. Many believe that Tesco’s move will cause other British supermarkets to follow suit and do the right thing by giving away unsold food.