Time to embrace fresh challenges

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Tesco has come up with a way of saving 135 tonnes of fine beans from going to waste each year – and getting a fresher product to the customer.

The answer is very simple, but it is all about what happens back up the supply chain – in this case in Kenya where the beans are grown.

Historically, the beans have been picked, trimmed to a uniform size to meet Tesco’s specifications, packed, and shipped.

But it turns out that by widening the specification slightly, the beans will not need cutting. There is 15 per cent more eatable bean. Tesco has also modified its ordering process so that the beans can be sent straight to the distribution centres and consequently stay fresher.

“We have listened to our customers who have told us that they want great tasting, quality fresh produce over uniformed sizing,” said Matt Simister, commercial director for fresh food.

This seems an entirely sensible thing to do, so much so that you have to question why you would do anything else.

Not only that, there must be many more situations where creative thinking in the supply chain could result in fresher products and less waste. It’s time for supply chain professionals to embrace these fresh challenges.

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