Tesco suppliers binning almost 50 tonnes of food weekly in HGV driver crisis

Tesco has reportedly said its suppliers are wasting almost 50 tonnes of food a week due to a shortage of HGV drivers to deliver the produce to stores. The supermarket told ministers in industry-wide talks on Wednesday that 48 tonnes of food across its supply chain had been binned in the last week, according to The Grocer. Figures are said to be a huge spike in comparison with the ‘normal’ levels of food waste.

“The food waste impact of the driver shortfall has significantly impacted our suppliers’ ability to respond to our orders,” a source at one supermarket told The Grocer.

Tesco said 48 tonnes of food across its supply chain had been binned in the last week (file photo)

“In recent weeks we have seen a 13% increase in products being wasted or placed in the bin. The government cannot just kick this down the road.” FareShare, a food distribution charity, estimated up to a third of the food that would be sent to its warehouses for people suffering from food poverty was not getting through to them.

CEO Lindsay Boswell said around 30% of food they’d get in their warehouses daily to help vulnerable was not reaching them.

Tesco suppliers binning almost 50 tonnes of food weekly in HGV driver crisisThe issue is said to be due to a shortage of HGV drivers to deliver the produce to stores (file photo)

She said they are working with food partners to mitigate the impact on their charity network and said they are not the only organisation which has been impacted. Ms Boswell said it’s “frustrating” that a lack of available HGV drivers meant perfectly good food is being wasted rather than reaching people who need it. Sky News today reported that Tesco’s chief executive, Ken Murphy, told analysts it was “working hard” to address its shortfall through recruitment.

Their report said the Road Haulage Association (RHA) is arguing that the Covid pandemic with its testing demands and Brexit preventing the sector using EU-based drivers have been a driving force for the issue.

The Mirror contacted Tesco for comment.