Zsolt Pálinkás


Tesco Hungary

It is unacceptable, that 1.8 million tons of food waste is generated in Hungary every year, while hundreds of thousands of people live in poverty. Tesco is committed to reducing food waste and has ambitious goals: in its Central European branch, not a single piece of consumable food can go to waste, meaning that all the food we cannot sell is delivered to the ones in need by charitable organizations. We are proud of the fact that in Hungary, Tesco has a long history of offering the surpluses of food for charitable purposes.

Over a one year period, we could implement the process of food saving in more than 50 stores, providing more than 75 tonnes of food per month to people in need. We hope that in the future we will be able to work with more and more partners to reach an increasing number deprived people.

Food-saving program

Industry: Retail

Date: continuously

Food and Feed

Solutions of the macro-sustainability challenges

Cut back on food waste

Further targets:

What´s the solution?

For us managing and reducing food waste is both a social and business challenge at the same time. In addition, we believe that any food that is edible should be used and not wasted. The goal of our program has both environmental and social aspects: providing groceries, that are no longer available for sale but are still ready for consumption to those in need. Due to the program, store employees collect the surplus of food in the store for the Food Bank’s NGO partners, who ensure that the packages arrive in the right places. This way, we prevent the food from becoming waste and help at the same time.

Business connection

Due to the sustainable, efficient operations, the stock in the store is being reduced constantly, but of course, it never means going to zero in order to ensure availability. The resulting business benefit is mostly the reduction in the costs of waste management and the improvement of the staff’s perceptions about the company.


So far, 55 stores have joined the program and nearly 579 tons of groceries have been saved between its establishment in September 2014 until 31 October 2015. Furthermore, two stores are testing the process of providing these fruits and vegetables daily. Beyond quantitative data, the program has an impact on employee support, attitudes, proximity with the program, moreover it develops culture and engagement.