Tesco taps The Great British Diversity Experiment to tackle food wastage problem

Tesco is supporting The Great British Diversity Experiment which will see it come up with alternative ways to curb food wastage at its stores and in the homes of its shoppers.

The experiment was founded by frontrunners in the advertising, tech and communications industries; Nadya Powell (managing director, Sunshine), Daniele Fiandaca (co-founder, Creative Social), Alex Goat (managing director, Livity), Jonathan Akwue (the new chief executive at Lost Boys) and Laura Jordan-Bambach (creative partner, Mr President).

Through the experiment, Tesco will seek out the help of over 120 volunteers associated with the project. For Tesco, it wants to use the collective’s mix of cultural diversities to bolster its ongoing efforts to reduce the amount of food waste in the UK.

It is already the first retailer to publish its food waste performance and has launched product initiatives like ‘no banana left behind’, scraped its ‘buy one get one free’ on fresh produce, reviewed its packaging and is working with FareShare FoodCloud and local food banks to reduce the way the it wastes food, as well its customers. Despite these efforts, the supermarket is falling short of driving change at scale, forcing it to consider other alternatives.

Toby Horry, digital marketing director at Tesco, said the answer to the food wastage issue is partly a communication challenge, partly a behavioural change. He says solutions must be focused on ease of implementation, habitual usage, and minimal effort by consumers.

Simon Gregory, strategy director at BBH, cited political responsibility, personal morality, environmental impact, and the potential to generate more revenue as reasons to address the food wastage issue.

From a business perspective, speaker Miranda Brawn argued that businesses need to bring diversity to the forefront for Britain to stay competitive. The McKinsey report on ‘why diversity matters’ proved that diversity in the workplace makes good business sense, showing that gender-diverse companies financially outperform non-diverse ones by 15 per cent, a figure which increases to 35 per cent in an ethnically-diverse company.

The briefing was held at Google’s London HQ, with Eileen Naughton, MD of Google UK & Ireland, speaking at the event. She talked of Google’s partnership with the project, hoping it will “really wake up the industry” to the issue of diversity. Naughton wants “to make certain Google reflects the world we live in” but said that the change will be “slow but steady - a generational switch”.

Eileen Naughton, managing director and VP, UK & Ireland sales and operations

The Great British Diversity Experiment is expanding regionally, with its next event set for the 19th February in Manchester.

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Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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