UK supermarket giant Tesco is making some changes to its supply chain, in the name of both efficiency and better quality products for its consumers. A new initiative from the supermarket chain promises to get produce to shelves two days sooner than before, which means fresher food and a major reduction in food waste.
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According to a profile in The Guardian, Tesco plans to achieve this new efficiency by cutting a food packaging stage from its supply chain, an efficiency made possible by improved storage technology that allows Tesco to have produce shipped directly from produce suppliers to its stores without the need for an extra packing step. Tesco commented to the Guardian about how its decision will benefit its consumer base:
But the decision is about more than just consumers. Food waste has been a huge concern for Tesco, and in 2013 the chain revealed its food waste statistics to consumers in an effort to increase transparency and start a conversation on how to do better. Since then, the grocer has been looking into a variety of ways to solve the problem.
How will simplifying the supply chain help? Dr. Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems for the UK government’s Waste and Resources Reduction Action Programme (WRAP), explained to The Guardian that bringing fresh produce to market more quickly could make a significant difference in the amount of food waste that is thrown out on a daily basis:
In other words, this supply chain revamp is an important step for Tesco in its mission to decrease food waste, and could inspire other chains to start looking at their own supply chains to start making sustainability-minded changes of their own.
[SOURCE: The Guardian]