The UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, is addressing surplus stock in the supply chain with a new marketplace for suppliers.
More than 3,500 Tesco suppliers can now cut production costs and reduce waste by selling or donating surplus stock or products to other suppliers who can make use of them.
Dubbed ‘Tesco Exchange’, the online marketplace aims to match suppliers who have too much of a product, such as crops, by-products, ingredients, or packaging, with other Tesco suppliers that need it.
Tesco said suppliers can advertise surplus stock for sale on Tesco Exchange, post requests for things they need, and agree sales between each other. They can also set alerts for when items they need are posted.
Transactions are already under way, with Tesco saying that one of the first listings was made by food manufacturer, G’s Group, which supplies pickled beetroot to Tesco. Tonnes of beetroot peelings are generated by the manufacturing process – and that is supply that could be used by a livestock farm as cattle feed.
In a recent report by Tesco and its environmental partner WWF looking at on-farm food loss, it was suggested that in the UK alone three million tonnes of food waste perishes before making it off the farm.
Sarah Bradbury, Tesco quality director, said: “Excess stock or waste for one supplier could be a valuable commodity to another.
“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.”
Dr Julian Parfitt, technical director at Anthesis, a sustainability consultancy and developer of Tesco Exchange, added: “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.”
[Image credit: Green Retail World]