Unilever Launches Initiative To Cut Food Waste

Unilever has teamed up with environmental charity Hubbub, with the support of WRAP, in a new initiative aimed cutting levels of food waste in the UK.

Described as a “Joint Ambition for a Zero Food Waste Britain”, the initiative has been developed following consultation with 240 organisations and over 2,000 households. Aimed at tackling the issue of food waste at a consumer, business and policy level, the Joint Ambition contains five core principles:

  • Collaboration between organisations from all sectors is essential to reducing household food waste.
  • Communication should demonstrate the value of food ensuring as much as possible is eaten.
  • Awareness needs to be built on the wider environmental, social and financial impact of food.
  • Skills and knowledge need to be built so that people get maximum value from food.
  • Consistency is needed for food waste collection systems across the UK

To deliver the 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 which encourage households to better understand the value of food.

Charlotte Carroll, Sustainability Director, 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, added: “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.”

To kick off the work, Unilever and Hubbub recently launched their summer campaign which seeks to inform holiday-goers on how to make the most their leftovers. Supported by research which revealed that over £0.5bn worth of edible food is thrown away in the UK when people head off holiday, the campaign encourages consumers to either freeze, gift or cook their leftovers.

The summer campaign is the first of a number of planned campaigns. Hubbub and Unilever said that they hoped that a growing band of organisations would be inspired to join together to back the Joint Ambition.