The War on Food Waste

This month has seen the launch of the Courtauld Commitment 2025, a campaign aiming to tackle the estimated two million tonnes of food wasted every year, coordinated by charity Wrap. Much has been made in the media of the commitment and its signatories, which include Britain’s biggest supermarkets and forty food and drinks companies and restaurants. The campaign aims to reduce food waste by 20% by 2050, which will reportedly free up 60 million extra meals for those living in food poverty.

Food waste has been an important issue for several years now and a space into which responsible food and drink producers and retailers have been moving (Asda’s wonky veg initiative, which won 2017 Healthy Food Product of the Year, is a case in point).

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Working in food PR, relevant topics that dominate the news agenda, such as food waste, are obviously front of mind for us. And it’s interesting to see how food brands respond to important issues such as these. Whether through innovative design, awareness boosting events or charity partnerships, many brands use their influence to become a part of the conversation and publicly express support for such worthy and important causes.

Yeo Valley, for example, recently introduced another variant of its Left-Yeovers yoghurt having raised £20,000 for food waste charity FareShare, since the product initially launched in 2015. The new apple & custard flavour will see the brand partner with Tesco and its largest organic fruit grower Adam Wakeley, in an effort to reduce the ingredients wasted. It will be made using surplus food from Yeo Valley, and for every pot sold, Tesco and Yeo Valley will both donate 5p to FareShare, which is expected to raise over £7000.

This week, The Grocer also announced that Selfridges is set to host a pop-up food waste restaurant on its rooftop. The pop-up concept, Wasted, will arrive on 24th February and run for one month, taking surplus produce from farmers, fishermen, distributors, butchers, artisanal producers and retailers to create a full menu.

And here’s an emerging trend to watch: in its January edition, BBC Good Food predicted that this year’s buzzword would be ‘freeganism’ – the art of redistributing the food discarded by supermarkets. Judging by progress so far this year, the food industry’s war on waste is already gaining a foothold. It will be interesting to see, from a food PR perspective, how brand stories unfold as a result.

 

Megan Hocking - Senior Campaign Executive at Wild West CommsWords: Megan Hocking

Account Manager at Wild West Comms

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