Food Waste

Councils calling on local businesses to help employees fight food waste

A plate of rotting food about to be put into the bin.

A new report has been published today by Food Savvy, revealing a positive shift in people’s attitudes towards food waste across Norfolk and Suffolk, since the campaign began in 2018.

The Food Savvy campaign is a collaboration between the Suffolk Waste Partnership, Norfolk County Council, and environmental charity Hubbub. They work with businesses and local residents with the aim to reduce food waste in the two counties by 20% by 2025, in line with the Courtauld Commitment and the global Sustainable Development Goals.

The latest Food Savvy report highlights growing public understanding of how big an issue food waste is. New research from Food Savvy shows that 60% of people across Norfolk and Suffolk now agree that food waste is a major contributor to climate change, compared to 39% last year. And 28% now think food waste has more of an impact on climate change than single-use plastic.

Launched in 2018, Food Savvy puts Norfolk and Suffolk at the forefront of the UK’s efforts to combat food waste. Over the past three years, Food Savvy has secured over 100 new partnerships, launched 21 campaigns, and took part in or hosted 75 events and workshops in which 21,500 people have got involved with.

The campaign is now calling on local businesses to take action as people return to the workplace, by reducing their food waste and encouraging employees to do the same, through a program of activities designed specially to suit their working environment.

9.5 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK each year causing around 25 million tonnes CO2e, the same as 10 million cars (or 1 in 3 cars on UK roads). 70% of this food waste happens in people’s homes (6.6. million tonnes), 16% in manufacturing (for example food processing and packaging), 12% through hospitality and 3% from retailers¹.

Cllr James Mallinder, Chairman of the Suffolk Waste Partnership said: “Since launching the Food Savvy campaign in 2018, we have seen a real shift in people’s attitudes towards food waste. Our research suggests that being at home last year helped people connect food waste and climate change and it became something they could take action on while at home. As people continue to return to the workplace, we want to ensure these new habits are not forgotten. We are calling on local businesses to take action to engage, empower and support their employees on keeping food waste down, while at work.”

Cllr Andy Grant, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, Norfolk County Council said: “Our research shows that Norfolk residents are becoming more aware of the connection between food waste and climate change. We now want to build on this awareness by offering businesses the tools they need to support their employees to continue these behaviours. We want to work with Norfolk and Suffolk businesses to bring their employees together to take part in activities to help them reduce food waste.”

Mark Breen, Senior Creative Partner at Hubbub said: “It’s very encouraging to see that people are joining the dots between food waste and the impact it has on the environment. Food Savvy is now looking to businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk to join the fight against food waste. We want to work with employers to bring their employees together around good food. With so many businesses setting out ambitious plans to have a positive impact on the environment over the last year we want to build on this energy to make sure that food is a big part of that conversation.”

Is there more your business could do to engage its employees in the fight against food waste and climate change? If so, the team behind Food Savvy wants to hear from you. They will work with you to provide a programme of cook-alongs, expert speakers, challenges and more for your employees. Food brings people together and is great for our wellbeing too.

Martin is a journalist and PR executive of Commercial Waste Magazine. He has worked in the commercial waste and recycling industry for over a decade and is dedicated to raising public awareness in the amount of recyclable waste being sent to landfill every year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *