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Tesco launches new supplier marketplace to cut costs and reduce waste

Tesco has launched a new online marketplace, with over 3,500 of its suppliers now able to sell or donate surplus stock to other suppliers, cutting production costs and reducing waste.

Tesco Exchange, affectionately known as Tesco Tinder, matches suppliers who have too much of a product, with other Tesco suppliers that can make better use of the excess.

The supermarket giant also expects that savings in product costs will ultimately benefit customers too.

In the same way that consumer marketplaces work, 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.

Surplus or waste can occur in food supply chains for many reasons, including long periods of good weather, which can result in growers having more produce than they need. In addition, food manufacturers often have by-product that can be used by others.

One of the first listings was made by food manufacturer, G’s Group, which supplies pickled beetroot to Tesco. The manufacturing process leaves them with tonnes of beetroot peelings that could be used by a livestock farm as cattle feed.

The opportunity for the Tesco Exchange platform has been highlighted by Tesco and WWF’s recent report about on-farm food loss, which found that 3 million tonnes of UK food waste perishes before making it off the farm.

“Excess stock or waste for one supplier could be a valuable commodity to another,” Tesco quality director Sarah Bradbury said.

“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.”

Anthesis, sustainability activator and developer of Tesco Exchange, technical director Dr Julian Parfitt 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.”

The move is the latest in an ongoing programme led by Tesco to help suppliers tackle waste. By working directly with global suppliers, it has helped to collectively reduce food loss and waste by 78,000 tonnes.

The supermarket aims to halve food waste in its operations by 2025 and reach net zero across its entire value chain by 2050.


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