Campaign to help 650,000 food workers reduce waste

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

The initiative will engage with employees from the UK's top food and drink manufacturers and retailers
The initiative will engage with employees from the UK's top food and drink manufacturers and retailers

Related tags Food waste Food Somerfield

A new campaign to help around 650,000 food manufacturing and retail employees to reduce their household food waste, has been launched today (October 1).

The month-long ‘Working on Waste’ campaign – spearheaded by grocery think-tank IGD – will aim to drive awareness and engagement about food waste beyond the workplace and into the home.

Working in collaboration with the government funded Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the campaign is set to engage with 107 businesses, including Premier Foods, Mondelēz International, Mars, Heinz, Unilever, Warburtons, Nestlé, Greencore, Dairy Crest and Iglo Group.

Retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and the Co-operative Group are also involved in the initiative.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD said she was thrilled that companies of all sizes were supporting the campaign.

Costing £12.5bn

“A lot of progress has been made already by companies across the industry to help consumers reduce household food waste,”​ she claimed. “However, 7Mt of food and drink is still being thrown away by UK homes every year,​ costing consumers £12.5bn – so there’s more work to be done.”

The food industry employs 3.6M people and it is these employees that will form the bedrock of the campaign, Denney-Finch added.

“In its first year, from the 107 companies that have pledged their support so far, ‘Working on Waste’ will reach around 650,000 employees in one month through meal planning advice, top tips, what to do with leftovers and much more.

“And if we can inspire each of these employees to inform their friends and family on how to reduce food waste, the campaign’s impact will be felt far beyond this number.”

A mixture of food waste training and employee engagement will see around 600,000 employees receive tips on reducing household food waste; 180,000 being provided with meal planners and 100,000 using WRAP’s food waste diaries.

More than 12,000 people will be involved in ‘Leftover Lunch Day’ and 280,000 will participate in the leftovers recipe challenge.


IGD will also be hosting nine roundtable roadshows across the country, bringing companies, suppliers and competitors together to discuss the issues surrounding household food waste.

The findings from these roadshows, along with further consultations with other key stakeholders, will be used to inform an IGD paper to be published in spring 2015. 

The campaign is also supported by universities and trade associations, such as Anglia Ruskin University, Fitz William College University of Cambridge, Aberystwyth University, Agriculture Horticulture Development Board, NFU and the Federation of Bakers.

Dr Richard Swannell, director at WRAP, said: “Putting the issue of tackling food waste right at the heart of the food industry has led to a significant reduction in what we waste, but there is still 4.2Mt of edible food being thrown away from UK homes alone.

“This campaign is a great opportunity to further mobilise action by those who work in the sector, which is good for their pockets and the environment.”

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1 comment

Compain...... to reduce food waste

Posted by Arie,

It is clearly a very interesting domain, but it is very unclear how it can be done, without increasing substancially health risks. I am also curious to know who will take responsability?

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