Tesco launches sustainable accelerator program while increasing supplier charge

Published on
May 16, 2022
A row of Tesco shopping carts ready for shoppers to use.

Tesco and WWF have launched a new paired accelerator program aimed at fast-tracking sustainability innovation for Tesco suppliers and start-ups.

Tesco's Innovation Connections program “will address a key barrier preventing promising sustainability innovations from being adopted at scale in food supply chains, by identifying suppliers who can help to scale up new ideas and technologies,” it said. 

Eight finalists were chosen from 70 applicants, and each will each receive GBP 150,000 (EUR 176,000) to help them continue to develop their projects. One of the finalists is a project being jointly developed by Hilton Food Group, Tesco’s meat and fish supplier, and Future by Insects, which will develop an aquafeed that uses food waste and microalgae. 

Ahead of the naming the winner of the competition, Tesco called on the U.K. government to do more to unlock innovation in the country’s food supply chains and support innovations to market readiness. Tesco has asked the government to set timelines and process for “updating outdated regulations that hinder the scaling up of late-stage innovations such as insect protein in animal feed or sustainable low-carbon fertilizers, and to create incentives for businesses and consumers who are early adopters of new food system innovations."

“To deliver affordable, healthy, and sustainable food for all, the entire food sector must innovate fast. That’s why, as well as driving improvements in our own operations, Tesco is collaborating with innovative suppliers and start-ups,” Tesco Group CEO Ken Murphy said. “But we also need government support, to help the food industry to scale proven innovations.”

Separately, Tesco also announced it is raising its distribution rate to suppliers by nearly 8 percent due to an increase in diesel fuel rates, The Grocer reported. The company did not respond to a request for comment on the rate hike from SeafoodSource.

Photo courtesy of Karolis Kavolelis/Shutterstock

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