Tesco the first retailer in Malaysia to publish food waste data

South East Asia .
Tesco the first retailer in Malaysia to publish food waste data

By NST Business - KUALA LUMPUR: Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is taking a firm stance against the global issue that is food waste by becoming the first retailer in Malaysia to publish its food waste data. To date, Malaysia food waste data is mostly derived from household food waste which is estimated at some 16,688 tonnes daily, according to a report by the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI).

“As a retailer we know that perfectly matching supply and demand is particularly challenging leading to some unsold surplus food. Therefore, transparency and measurement are essential for identifying hotspots and in tackling the causes of food waste, because what gets measured gets managed,” said Tesco Malaysia chief executive officer Paul Ritchie.

Tesco Malaysia said its journey in reducing food waste had begun long before it became the first local retailer to publish its food waste data. In October 2016, Tesco Malaysia worked with Food Aid Foundation and Kechara Soup Kitchen where it donated unsold but edible fruits, vegetables and bakery surplus daily. What began as a small-scale project that only involved two stores has now expanded to 59 Tesco stores across Malaysia. The total number of meals made up of unsold but edible foods donated since October 2016 through this collaboration is at 4.8 million meals.

For the year ended February 28, 2019 specifically, Tesco donated 610 tonnes of unsold but edible food, which was equivalent to 1.4 million meals. In 2017, Tesco partnered with MYSaveFood Network, a network initiated by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to begin the Edible Garden Programme with 26 of Tesco’s Adopted Schools.

The programme is part of Tesco’s education and environmental corporate social responsibility where school children are taught the importance of growing their own vegetables, herbs and fruits as well as reducing food waste by composting remaining inedible foods.