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Tackling food waste across our businesses in Asia

Pajaree Na Songkhla

International Communications Manager

31 Oct 2016

How our business in Malaysia is working to reduce food waste by giving our food surplus to charity.

Dave Lewis launched Tesco’s commitment to food surplus donation in 2015;

“Our goal at Tesco is to never throw away food that could be eaten. If we can’t sell it, we will give it to charities and community groups to help tackle food waste.”

I couldn’t agree more!

I was born in a southeastern Asian country, I’ve seen so many people suffering from hunger. I see it every day, it’s something I’ve witnessed for many years. I’ve always felt we could use the leftover food in our stores and turn it into something valuable for those in need.

When Dave recently confirmed his commitment to tackling food waste, I couldn’t help but have a big smile on my face. He insisted that we need to tackle food waste now, we have no more time to waste.

Leading on food surplus redistribution

Tesco in Malaysia strives for the same goal. Unsold food will be redistributed to local charities to help to ease food waste.

On 20 October 2016, we made our commitment more official by launching our Food Surplus Donation programme in Malaysia. Food surplus donations are running in six stores so far and will expand to 24 more stores across the Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur by December. By the end of 2017, as in the UK, we will roll out donations to all of our stores. Working with local charities like the Food Aid Foundation and Kechara Soup Kitchen, we’re already seeing what a big difference this can make to lives in our local communities.

We want to make it easy for our store colleagues and the charities we’re working with. This is where technology can help to make food surplus donation a little easier, seamless and efficient.

Technology helps us tackle waste

We’ve worked with two local partners, Sime Darby Berhad and the Food Aid Foundation, to develop a mobile application that will help make it easy to donate surplus food to local charities. The App helps the store and local charities talk to each other to coordinate the food collection and redistribution. In fact, it’s similar to FareShare FoodCloud, which our UK stores use to power their Community Food Connection but built with Malaysia in mind.

I’m really proud of the work we’re doing on food waste at Tesco. Tackling food waste is no more just an idea, it's a reality. I am confident that it’s a great step we have taken towards tackling food waste.

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