Tesco has expanded its partnership with food sharing app Olio to redistribute surplus food from the supermarket giant's stores that would otherwise go to waste, following a successful six month trial earlier this year, the two firms announced today.
Founded in 2015, Olio aims to tackle food waste by allowing users to alert others to surplus food, which is then collected by a team of 8,000 volunteers and passed on to those who request it. Users can then pick up that surplus food from an agreed, contact-free collection point.
The partnership with Tesco marks Olio's first agreement with a major supermarket, and follows a successful six-month trial earlier this year which saw 250 Tesco stores - chosen as they produced the most surplus food - redistribute 36 tonnes of food and feed 4,200 people, according to Tesco.
The supermarket giant said the results of the trial equated to 93,000 meals being saved from the bin, with fresh fruit and vegetables and bakery items, making up the bulk of items redistributed, with half all food listings added to the Olio app subsequently requested within less than an hour.
"Right now we want to make sure that any surplus food is being managed and people who need it have access to it," said Tesco's head of communities, Claire De Silva. "The results of our initial trial were very positive and have allowed us to further roll out the partnership in our commitment to make sure no good food goes to waste."
The partnership builds on Tesco's existing food waste efforts, which sees the firm donate around two million meals each month to food charities across the UK through its Community Food Connection scheme partnership with charity FareShare.
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