Unilever has teamed up with environmental charity the Hubbub Foundation, as well as food waste specialist Wrap, to help reduce the amount of food waste in the UK at consumer, business and policy level.
Their Joint Ambition for a Zero Food Waste Britain has been developed following extensive consultation with 240 organisations and builds on public polling conducted with over 2,000 households.
It will aim to tackle food waste through collaboration between organisations and communication to demonstrate the value of food, ensuring as much as possible is eaten; build awareness on the wider environmental, social and financial impact of food; ensure consistency for food waste collection systems across the UK; and build on skills and knowledge so that people can get maximum value from food.
To deliver on these principles, Unilever and Hubbub have gained the support of a wide range of organisations, who have pledged to help develop fresh messaging on food waste and run engaging campaigns to encourage households to better understand the value of food.
The two organisations will themselves kick off a summer campaign to inform holiday-makers of how to make the most of leftover food. Supported by research that revealed that over £500 million of perfectly edible food is thrown away in the UK when people head off on holiday, the campaign will encourage consumers to either freeze, cook or give away their leftovers.
Charlotte Carroll, sustainability director for Unilever UK, said: “As a food manufacturer, we understand that more needs to be done to address avoidable food waste, especially as, in the UK alone, one-fifth of struggling families experience food poverty. That’s why, through our Joint Ambition, we are taking collective action to drive lasting transformational change in this area. With our exciting partnership with Hubbub, who are experts in food waste and behaviour change, we will be delivering a series of consumer campaigns via our much-loved brands, including Wall’s, Knorr and Hellmann’s.”
Trewin Restorick, CEO of Hubbub, said: “The Joint Ambition has been created following extensive consultation with organisations working across the food chain. This demonstrated a huge desire to act on food waste and the importance of collaboration. The Joint Ambition will provide a practical and positive way of turning this desire into action and we are delighted to be working with Unilever to make this happen.”
And David Moon, head of food sustainability for Wrap, continued: The Joint Ambition highlights the need for a coordinated focus on food waste prevention, communication, skills and the recycling of unavoidable food waste. In this, it is really focused in helping households value their food and drink. Significantly, the Joint Ambition is also well aligned and contributes to the food waste targets and delivery programmes within our industry-wide Courtauld 2025 agreement. We therefore look forward to the Joint Ambition being achieved.”
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