Oct.21 - Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco, is the first UK supermarket to reveal data on food waste. It says 28,500 tonnes was thrown away in the first six months of the year and is changing some sales tactics to try to reduce the waste. As Joanna Partridge reports, the EU also wants to stop edible food ending up in the bin.
Freshly baked and ready to buy - but as much as half of it could be destined for the rubbish bin. A new study by retail giant Tesco shows the scale of food that's thrown away, not eaten. Tesco clocked up 28,500 tonnes of food waste in its stores and distribution centres - in just the first six months of this year. Alongside items from the bakery, over two-thirds of produce grown for bagged salads is chucked away, and 40% of apples. Tesco was the first British retailer to reveal its waste data. It's working to improve its image in its main British market, where it's been losing market share in recent years. Matt Simister is Food Commercial Director at Tesco. SOUNDBITE: Matt Simister, Food Commercial Director, Tesco, saying (English): "Being such a big player in the food industry, we have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce food waste. And we think that starts with the waste that happens in our own operations, but it doesn't just end there." Tesco estimates families spend £700 a year on food they don't eat. That's especially surprising, given the tight budgets of many consumers. The retailer says it will change some sales tactics to help reduce waste. It's stopping multi-buy offers on large bags of salad and getting rid of "display until" dates on fruit and vegetables. Michael Warhurst is from Friends of the Earth. SOUNDBITE: Michael Warhurst, Friends of the Earth, saying (English): "We should remember it's not just the money involved in food waste. All this food needs lots of land to be grown on, it needs lots of water, all the time of the farmers. By wasting all this food, we're wasting land around the world, water around the world, at a time when there's more pressure than there's ever been before." The European Union is looking to halve the amount of edible food which gets chucked out by 2020. It wants surplus food to be donated to food banks, supply chains to be shortened, and consumers to accept less than perfect fruit and vegetables. And Nestle, the world's biggest food company, has promised to cut waste in its factories to zero by 2020.