Tesco says its sustainable supply chain initiative, Knowledge Hub, has added its 1,500th member: Müller Wiseman Dairies, Britain’s biggest fresh milk firm.
Additionally, Tesco’s Producer Network, a similar initiative for agricultural producers and suppliers, has expanded to 828 members and is now open to all 700 Tesco dairy farmers. It will be extended to other farming sectors over the summer, the retailer says.
By joining the Tesco initiatives, which are developed and managed by 2degrees for the retailer, the companies can share knowledge and best practices, and access ready advice.
For example, APS Salads, a Cheshire-based Tesco supplier for more than two decades, says the Knowledge Hub has resulted in its implementation of thermal screens, water cooled refrigeration and a bio-refinery, which produces bio-methane that can be used to power an on-site combined heat and power with CO2 extraction.
Launched in 2010, the Tesco Knowledge Hub helps to reduce the energy costs, waste and environmental impacts of the products Tesco buys, and aims to cut 30 percent of the carbon emissions from the company’s supply chain by 2020, compared to 2006-07 levels. The private, online community now includes supplier members from more than 630 global companies, plus independent experts, Tesco representatives and partners including WRAP, IGD and the Carbon Trust.
The Tesco Producer Network is an online forum for agricultural producers and suppliers to Tesco that allows them to discuss food-supply efficiency and sustainability with other producers around the world and with Tesco teams.
Last month, Tesco laid out new business strategies in three key areas, including a goal “to lead in reducing food waste globally.”
Around one third of the world’s food is never eaten but is rather thrown away or left to rot, Tesco says. Because of Tesco’s scale as it buys, moves and sells food, the company says it can track down waste, finding where it happens, “from the farmer’s field to the customer’s fridge,” according to the company’s new Tesco and Society Report 2013.