The company will encourage staff, customers and suppliers to raise funds for the charity. It will top up funds raised by staff by 20 per cent, up to a maximum of £500,000.
Tesco will also continue to sponsor the charity’s Race for Life events for the next three years. The supermarket chain aims to raise £3m in that time through staff fundraising, sponsorship and corporate donations linked to the event.
The money will be additional to the £10m one-year fundraising target. Tesco has supported Race for Life for 10 years, in which time staff have raised £7.5m through the events.
The company has raised £5m so far for the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland, its 2011 charities of the year, and will continue raising funds for these charities until the Cancer Research UK partnership begins in March.
Ruth Girardet, communities director at Tesco, said the firm’s management team had chosen to support CRUK because this was an appropriate way to mark its 10th year of supporting Race for Life and because research among staff and customers showed that they saw cancer as an important cause.
She said Tesco wanted to improve the "customer visibility" of its charitable work and believed the success of CRUK’s brand would "be a big contributor to our success".
She said Tesco had set a higher fundraising target than last year because CRUK was "a strong charity with a successful track record in fundraising".
The Tesco charity of the year programme has raised £60m since it began in 1988. The charity said in a statement that 300,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year, which was slightly more than the entire Tesco workforce.