A new initiative which aims to slash food waste in the UK has been launched by consumer goods giant Unilever and environmental campaigning charity Hubbub.

Joint ambition, as the collaboration is called, is a joint partnership which has consulted with more than 240 organisations and polled over 2,000 households to develop what it hopes will be an effective strategy to tackle the issue of food waste at consumer, business and policy level.

It has five key tenets, which include the necessity of collaboration between organisations from all sectors to reduce household waste; communication to demonstrate the value of food, ensuring as much as possible is eaten; awareness building on the impact of wasted food; the need for skills and knowledge to be developed so that people get maximum value from food and consistency for food waste collection systems across the country.
To fulfil these aims, Unilever and Hubbub have gained the support of a wide range of organisations who have pledged to help develop fresh messages on food waste and run campaigns which encourage households to better understand the value of food.

To kickstart the work Unilever and Hubbub recently launched their summer campaign to advise holiday makers on how to make the most of their food leftovers. Research shows that over GBP500m (US$655m) worth of perfectly edible food is thrown away in the UK when people head off holiday, and GBP12m worth of food ends up in the bin in the first week of the summer holiday alone, with two thirds of bagged salads being thrown away.

The campaign aims to address this problem, encouraging consumers to freeze, cook or give away their left over food.

“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,” said Unilever UK’s sustainability director Charlotte Carroll.

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“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 said: “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 summer campaign is the first of a number of practical campaigns which aim to bring the Joint Ambition to life. Hubbub and Unilever hope that a growing band of businesses are inspired to join together to back the Joint Ambition. Talk Mobile and the Responsible Travel Company have already teamed up with Hubbub and Unilever to throw their weight behind the summer campaign by encouraging their customers to consider leftover food as part of their holiday planning.