Tesco is running a trial with food distribution charity FareShare in which its suppliers’ excess production is given away to homeless people rather than going to landfill.

Marketing and fundraising manager Alex Green said much of the food remained at point of manufacture because Tesco’s stores did not generate a lot of surplus stock.

He said: “It’s more about working with Tesco manufacturers to redistribute Tesco stock.”

Green said FareShare distributed 1,500 tonnes of surplus food a year to homeless people across the UK, and wanted to double that by 2006.

The Co-operative Group, Sainsbury and Marks and Spencer donated surplus stock in eight regions around the UK - including Dundee and Brighton - and FareShare was in talks to “get Asda on board”, Green added.

The charity already works with manufacturers including Nestlé, Onken Dairies and Kraft and it hopes to increase the number of suppliers involved in the project.