Tesco has specifically called on the government to set out timelines and processes for updating outdated regulations that hinder the scaling up of late-stage innovations such as insect protein in animal feed or sustainable low-carbon fertilisers. It is also seeking the creation of incentives for businesses and consumers who are early adopters of new food system innovations. Teaming up with the WWF, the supermarket has launched a new accelerator programme which pairs pioneering start-ups with Tesco’s suppliers to fast-track sustainability innovation in its supply chain.
The Innovation Connections scheme will aim to address 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. Applicants have been paired with long-term Tesco suppliers to pitch scale-up projects that apply their ideas in the real world of food supply chains.
The winners of the scheme, will work with Tesco’s supplier partners to pilot and scale their innovation and will each receive up to £150,000 in funding support. “To deliver affordable, healthy and sustainable food for all, the entire food sector must innovate fast,” Tesco Group CEO Ken Murphy said. “That’s why, as well as driving improvements in our own operations, Tesco is collaborating with innovative suppliers and start-ups.”
WWF CEO, Tanya Steele added: “We hope the launch of this new accelerator programme with Tesco will bring innovative solutions a step closer and help us achieve our goal of halving the environmental impacts of the average UK shopping basket.”