The Star online, 5 Oct 2019 | Malaysia’s Tesco Stores are taking a firm stance against a global issue: food waste. TESCO Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is becoming the first retailer in the country to publish its food waste data.
Up to this point, 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). This amounts to a whopping 6.1 million tonnes of food waste a year, just by Malaysian households.
KRI also noted that the amount of food discarded by Malaysian households daily is enough to feed 2.2 million people three meals a day. In its Food Waste Management Development Plan for Industry, Commercial and Institution Sector (2016-2026) report, the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation said that the household sector generates about 44.5% of food waste, while Industrial, Commercial and Institution (ICI) generates about 31.4%.
However, data for ICI is undetermined as up until this commitment from Tesco Malaysia, no other organisations has voluntarily provided its food waste data. “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’s journey in reducing food waste has begun long before it become the first local retailer to publish its food waste data.
Back in October 2016, Tesco Malaysia began collaborating with Food Aid Foundation and Kechara Soup Kitchen where it donated unsold but edible fruits, vegetables and bakery surplus daily. What started out as a small-scale project that only involves two stores have 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 financial year ending Feb 28,2019, Tesco donated 610 tonnes of unsold but edible food which is 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.
Initiatives were also created to help reduce food waste in Tesco’s operations which include the introduction of food surplus donation guidelines to all stores on process to donate to food banks. Tesco has also improved the fresh produce packaging to reduce damage including for prepacked chicken and select leafy vegetables …
Continue reading ->
The Star online, Oct 5