Supermarket Tesco is to trial the FareShare FoodCloud app in the hope that it will help reduce waste by donating unsold food to charity.
It has partnered with UK food distribution charity FareShare and Irish social enterprise FoodCloud to test the app in which Tesco store managers will alert charities to the amount of surplus food they have at the end of each day.
The charity then confirms if it wants the food, picks it up free of charge from the store and turns it into meals for those in need.
Beneficiaries will come from the wide range of charities FareShare works with including homeless hostels, women’s refuges and breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children.
The scheme is already in place at Tesco stores in Ireland and is now being piloted in ten Tesco stores in the UK.
It is hoped that Tesco will be able to reduce the 55,400 tonnes of food waste thrown away at stores and distribution centres in the UK over the past year. Of this, around 30,000 tonnes could have been eaten.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “No one wants to throw away food which could otherwise be eaten.
“We don’t throw away much food in our operations, but even the 1% we do throw away amounts to 55,400 tonnes.
“To reduce this amount even further, we’ll be working in partnership with FareShare Food Cloud to ensure any food left unsold in our stores at the end of each day is given to local charities.
“This is potentially the biggest single step we’ve taken to cut food waste, and we hope it marks the start of eliminating the need to throw away edible food in our stores.”