Waitrose, Asda and Tesco are among 107 companies taking part in a new campaign aimed at helping their employees reduce household food waste.
The month-long initiative, launched by food and grocery research and training charity the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) in collaboration with WRAP, aims to reach 650,000 people through a combination of food waste training, meal planning advice and recommendations on what to do with leftovers.
According to Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, seven million tonnes of food and drink is thrown away by UK homes every year, costing consumers £12.5bn.
Over the next three weeks around 600,000 employees from firms including Mars, Unilever, Dairy Crest and Warburtons will receive ‘Top Tips’ on how to reduce household food waste, 12,000- plus will participate in ‘Leftover Lunch day’, and 180,000 will be given access to Love Food Hate Waste meal planners.
In addition, 100,000 will use WRAP’s food waste diaries, while 280,000 will participate in a leftovers recipe challenge.
“As an industry, we employ 3.6 million people and it is these employees that will form the bedrock of our campaign, taking learnings from their company into their households,” Denney-Finch said. “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…And if we 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.”
IGD will also host nine roundtable roadshows across the country to bring companies, suppliers and competitors together to discuss the issues surrounding household food waste.
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 4.2 million tonnes 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.”