Food Waste

Surplus Food Donations

We've donated over 10 million meals to hundreds of charitable groups across the country through our innovative surplus food donations programme in partnership with FoodCloud

2019/20 Tesco Ireland Food Waste Data

Ireland Food Surplus and Waste – 2019/20

At Tesco, we have no time for waste. We were the first retailer in Ireland to publish independently assured food waste data for our own operations and are committed to driving progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to halve per capita global food waste by 2030.

Highlights from 2019/20 include:

  • We donated 946 tonnes of food to over 375 good causes and charitable organisations from our stores and distribution centres. This is equivalent to over 2.25 million meals.
  • All stores across Ireland are offering surplus food to local good causes and charitable organisations.
  • To date we have donated over 10.7 million meals to help those in need, supporting the food charitable sector to save over €13million on their food bills as quantified by Irish social enterprise and food surplus donations partner, FoodCloud.
  • We launched Colleague Shop in all stores as a way in which to support our drive towards no good food going to waste, resulting in 162 tonnes of bakery, produce and ambient food saved from going to waste.
  • Through our Surplus Food Donations Programme and Colleague Shop initiative, we redistributed 1,107 tonnes of food, making this our most successful year to date for surplus redistribution in Ireland.
  • We donated 50 free fridges and freezers to groups participating in the Tesco Surplus Food Donations Programme last year through our Community Chill initiative, supporting them to increase and improve their storage capacity. In total, to date, 210 pieces of storage equipment have been donated in the last two years.
  • We partnered with twelve of our large Irish fresh suppliers in a bid to tackle the issue of food waste at their manufacturing sites and to working collaboratively to adopt the UN’s SDG goal 12.3. Led by Tesco Ireland, these Irish food suppliers including Aryzta, Country Crest, Keelings, Total Produce, and Manor Farm have committed to publicly target, measure and act Key to this will be to measure and publicly publish details of their food waste for the first time in 2020.

Transparency and measurement are essential for identifying hotspots, and in tackling the causes of food waste. It helps everyone understand how much, where, and why food is being wasted.

In 2019/20, 581,198 tonnes of food sold in Ireland generated 7,546 tonnes of surplus food not sold to customers (equivalent to 1.30%),

1,107 tonnes of surplus were redistributed through donations to charity and colleagues last year, an increase of 88% compared to our baseline year of 2016/17. Increased donations resulted from a focus on the top stores driving food waste and matching suitable local charitable organisations to them, along with a drive for continued improvements in donation compliance at a store level nationwide.

Total food waste (food safe and not safe for human consumption) in 2019/20 was 6,438 tonnes (1.11% of sales).  Waste as a percentage of sales has remained broadly flat compared to our baseline year 2016/17 as a result of changes made to our reduced to clear policy in 2019/20 which saw a decrease in the level of reduced-price surplus food sold in stores.

2019/20 Tesco ROI food waste by category (surplus minus donations)

As a member of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment’s Action Group on Food Waste in the Retail Sector, we worked closely with Government to discuss retail plans to tackle the issue of food waste and support the drive for all retailers in Ireland to publish amalgamated food waste data.

We are proud of the work our colleagues do to reduce waste and encourage other businesses to publish detailed, third-party assured food waste data.

Independent assurance over our figures, KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP were engaged to provide independent limited assurance over the selected food waste data highlighted on this webpage with a ◊ using the assurance standard ISAE 3000. KPMG has issued an unqualified opinion over the selected data. KPMG’s full assurance statement is available at:

[1] Safe for human consumption refers to food that is suitable for donation to charity