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UK-based Tesco and France-based Carrefour have announced an intention to enter into a long-term, strategic alliance. The retailers have said they expect the alliance will be formally agreed in the next two months.

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Speaking at the IGD Tesco Business Update, Jason Tarry, Chief Product Officer for Tesco has announced the business' intention to work towards a closed loop packaging system: aiming to remove, reduce and redesign packaging and its use, to improve its recovery and recycling and to educate customers to change their behaviour on recycling.

Calls on government to create consistent recycling infrastructure

Noting that the variation in levels of actual recycling can be extreme between different parts of the country, Tesco is asking the government to work to create a standardised national approach that can effectively optimise all aspects of packaging recycling. As part of its own plan Tesco is undertaking to develop easy to understand recycling communication, and to increase its own use of recycled materials to help shoppers who want to reduce their packaging impact.

Targeting hard to recycle materials

Tesco is now committed to removing hard to recycle packaging such as PVC and polystyrene from its supply chain; and it is also consulting on removing others like complex laminates. Materials it will support include sustainably sourced wood, board and paper and glassine, PET, glass, polypropylene (non-food), HDPE and LDPE, polyethylene, steel and aluminium.

Speaking at the IGD-organised event, Jason Tarry said:

'After consultation with our leading suppliers earlier this year we will remove all packaging that is hard to recycle from our business by 2019.  To complete the journey to a closed loop approach, we stand ready to work with the government to reform the current approach to recycling in the UK.'

Barcode standards agency, GS1 UK, has launched its new product data service, productDNA.

ProductDNA aims to deliver accurate and consistent data; capturing, managing and distribution information in way that is easily accessed and shared across the supply chain. The productDNA service consists of:

  • A new industry data model for suppliers to share product data with retailers
  • A cloud-based secure product catalogue
  • An independent physical product verification to ensure accuracy of product data

Easy access to data

The service covers over 150 product attributes, including ingredients, weight, dimensions, nutritional values and allergen information. Brands and suppliers own the data, and retailers have easy access to the information, ensuring that shoppers can receive accurate and up to date information about their products.

Improving efficiencies

GS1 UK is managing productDNA through its Retail Grocery Advisory Board. The board aims to provide better customer experience whilst improving efficiencies throughout the supply chain. Members include major retailers (Asda, Boots, Co-op, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) and manufacturers (Coca Cola Enterprises, Dairy Crest, Kellogg’s, Mondelez, Müller, Nestlé, PepsiCo P&G and Unilever) in the UK.

Promoting better quality data

GS1 UK’s chief executive, Gary Lynch, commented: “The grocery sector has spent years grappling with the transfer of data. ProductDNA sets out agreed processes and data rules, based on the common need to improve product data quality and efficient sharing across the retail industry. We’re excited to have created productDNA in partnership with our members to address these issues and look forward to its adoption by the industry.”

Tesco and Booker have confirmed that their merger has become effective as of 8am on 5 March 2018, following court approval.

Resounding 'yes' vote from both sets of shareholders

The completion of the merger follows a resounding vote in favour of the deal last week, with 85% of Tesco shareholders and 83% of Booker shareholders backing the merger. The merger will result in a vertically-integrated business, with annual UK sales of £47bn (Tesco £42bn and £5bn for Booker).

Platform for growth

The merger will extend Tesco's reach into the fast growing foodservice sector as well as broaden its participation in the convenience channel. Both are attractive opportunities for the UK's largest retailer as it looks for new ways to offset the long term challenge from declining shopper footfall to larger stores. Booker's sales to caterers amount to over £1.7bn annually and it supports nearly 5,500 symbol convenience stores under the Premier, Londis, Budgens and Family Shopper fascias.

Booker synergies already being developed

The vote to merge followed just a week after Booker opened its first Chef Central unit at Tesco's Bar Hill Extra store in Cambridge, aimed at professional caterers. The merger could now pave the way for a number of other similar openings to drive incremental sales from under used space, if the trial proves successful.

Charles Wilson to stay with merged business

Upon completion of the merger Booker CEO Charles Wilson has become the CEO of Tesco's new retail and wholesale, UK and Ireland division. Booker's chairman Stewart Gilliland has also joined the Tesco board as a non-executive director. Tesco's UK and ROI CEO Matt Davies will stand down at the end of April after a handover period.

Complementary retail and wholesale skills

Commenting last week on the votes by shareholders, Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive of Tesco, said: "I’m delighted that the shareholders of both companies have supported the merger. This merger is about growth, bringing together our complementary retail and wholesale skills to create the UK’s leading food business. This opens up new opportunities to provide food wherever it is prepared or eaten – ‘in home’ or ‘out of home’ – and will benefit our customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders."


At this year’s IGD Supply Chain Summit, we heard from business leaders, academics, supply chain directors and more, on a wide range of topics. Here is our summary of the main stage presentations.

We’ve engaged the global food and grocery supply chain community to uncover what people expect from their business relationships both now and in the future.

This three-part series starts by characterising good relationships, exploring what they can help you achieve, how to measure their effectiveness and how to improve them.

We present IGD’s top five online trends that we expect to develop and shape the global market over the next 12 months and beyond.
OSA is a bellwether of retail supply chain performance, helping direct routines and activities across the chain. As such, OSA is seen as the ultimate measure of supply chain success, helping drive value and growth into the supply chain. But the increasingly competitive food and grocery industry calls for new, innovative thinking to deliver the service necessary to succeed.

The supply chain industry is evolving rapidly. Driving an incremental skills and talent shortage in its wake. Uncover the five routes to success to allow you to equip your supply chain for the challenge ahead.

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Early bird offer!
8 May, London
Dave Lewis and his leadership team invite you to a crucial supplier event to help you stay close to Tesco’s strategic vision in their centenary year. 

A practical one day workshop for all roles in suppliers, to help develop your understanding of the vital part that supply chains play in underpinning FMCG businesses.