Business

OLIO volunteers in Swansea share over 6,000 meals with locals in partnership with Tesco

Food Waste Heroes in Swansea have helped to prevent over 6,000 (6,105) meals from going to waste in the past year, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between Tesco and OLIO.

That forms part of an amazing almost 180,000 (179,917) meals shared by volunteers across Wales. Across the wider UK, more than 5 million meals have been shared by more than 3,700 Food Waste Heroes in the last 12 months, supporting more than 72,000 people, families and community groups.

In August last year Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with the food sharing app, which provides unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community and prevents it from being thrown away. 

OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so and take it back to their homes. The items are then immediately uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be re-distributed free to those living nearby as well as to community groups. OLIO app users can then pick items up, from an agreed, contact-free collection point. 

The partnership builds on Tesco’s existing food surplus donations programme, including its Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare.  That scheme, which has been running since 2016, has provided more than 120 million meals of food to charities and community groups across the UK.

People can use the OLIO app to share surplus food with others to stop it going to waste
(Image: Ben Stevens / Parsons Media)

Tesco has led the way in tackling food waste for many years. It has not sent any food waste to landfill since 2009, and in 2013 became the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data.

Tesco Head of Communities, Claire De Silva, said: “Tesco is committed to tackling food waste and we were confident our partnership with OLIO would help with that, but its impact has exceeded all our expectations. 

“For our partnership to have diverted more than 5 million surplus meals from going to waste shows the strength of the partnership between our store colleagues and OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes.” 

Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “Our partnership with Tesco has been a huge success this year, and we’re incredibly proud to have delivered so many meals that would have otherwise been wasted to communities across the UK. Tesco has been a true pioneer.

“But our work is far from done. We hope this partnership encourages other businesses to follow suit and consider how they can take a more proactive approach to minimising waste and supporting local communities. Just imagine what we could achieve if every business followed their lead.”

(Lead image: Ben Stevens / Parsons Media)

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