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A week in news: taking aim at food waste – the latest food and drink headlines 3-7 October

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4 min read
AUTHOR: Molly Long
Food Waste Illustration

Eyes this week were once again trained on the new Government as the Tory Party Conference took place in Birmingham. Meanwhile, the food industry has been impacted by its own turbulent news items – with carbon dioxide and HFSS high on the list of concerns. Nevertheless, some good news came in the form of promising action against food waste. Here are the biggest food headlines from 3-7 October 2022:

Tesco links Executive Director bonuses to halving food waste by 2025

Tesco bosses will not be awarded some performance-related bonuses if they fail to meet the supermarket’s ambitious food waste targets. The grocer has pledged to halve food waste by 2025 – five years ahead of the deadline indicated by the UN and WRAP.

The news states some 25% of Tesco’s Performance Share Plan will be contingent on the progress of the supermarket across its food waste reduction initiatives, as well as carbon reduction and gender and ethnicity representation. Tesco MD Ken Murphy said: “By accelerating our target to halve food waste in our operations by 2025 and aligning executive pay performance targets to this goal, we hope to drive further transformative change.

Top 30 food waste innovators revealed

Companies working at the cutting edge of food waste reduction were recognised this week, following an announcement from the ECR Retail Loss Group. Working with start-up monitor Co:Cubed, the ECR network of hundreds of global retailers selected the top 30, from a long list of more than 100 innovators.

Companies selected have been split into three categories – Prevent, Re-use and Exit – and among those celebrated are OLIO and TIPA. Explore the top 30 companies and the work they do.

John Lewis pledges £2M invest to restore nature in Norfolk

The environment was dealt a win this week when John Lewis, the British department store chain which also owns and operates Waitrose supermarkets, announced £2M in funding to restore nature in Norfolk. The Eastern England county is the source of much of the retailer’s meat, cereal and vegetable products.

Additionally, John Lewis said it would be employing restorative practices at its own farm in Hampshire. The aim is to encourage local wildlife regeneration, and cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2024.

Some HFSS legislation comes into effect

The start of the new month brought with it the introduction of some of the Government’s highly controversial HFSS legislation. Though former Public Health Minister Maggie Throup announced earlier this year that much of the legislation planned for this October would be delayed because of the cost of living crisis, the Government has pushed ahead with its rules regarding the placement of HFSS products in stores.

Adoption of HFSS legislation has been a hotly contested topic for months, and even the Labour opposition has said now is not the time to be adopting the rules. Additionally, Tory front-bench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has urged people to defy the new law outright, by moving certain confectionery to store checkouts in protest. Nevertheless, companies have begun reformulation efforts in a bid to stay on the right side of the law – find out what products have been redeveloped.

Soaring cost of carbon dioxide could see grocery prices rise by £1.7B

Research from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) released this week suggests that food prices could soar up to £1.7 billion because of the increasingly expensive cost of carbon dioxide. The gas is used widely throughout the food industry, including in carbonated beverages and animal slaughter, as well as in the packaging process.

Carbon dioxide production in the UK was dealt a blow over the summer, when food industry supplier CF Industries announced news its plant in Billingham, Teeside, would be pausing production. The price of a tonne of liquid CO2 is up 3,000% on this time last year, according to ECIU.

Deliveroo opens first bricks-and-mortar grocery shop

Online food delivery platform Deliveroo opened its first ever physical store location on London’s New Oxford Street this week. The Deliveroo Hop store was launched in partnership with Morrisons, and allows customers to shop for groceries using digital kiosks and the Deliveroo app.

The company claims that its dedicated team of pickers and packers are able to fulfil orders and have them ready within minutes – offering a considerably quicker shopping experience than usual. Learn more about the first-of-its-kind store, and the wider trend of experimental retail.


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