Five years ago, Hubbub was a small unknown start-up charity with an ambition to cut food waste. Our first campaign, Pumpkin Rescue, highlighted that 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin were being wasted each Halloween. The idea immediately captured the imagination of media and communities. There have now been over 300 Pumpkin Rescue event around the world ensuring that cutting food waste is part of the national conversation every Halloween. 
 
Other successes have included the growth of the Community Fridge Network. There are currently 85 Community Fridges spread across the UK run by local community groups. On average these fridges are redistributing one tonne of food every month that would have been wasted. In cities some fridges are saving four tonnes of food per month. 
 
The debate around the environmental impact of our food system has moved significantly since we launched. In response, Hubbub has undertaken extensive public polling which has informed the focus of our new strategy. Here are our five main findings.

1) Food waste is important 

The UN has calculated that if food waste was a country it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Hubbub’s polling discovered that cutting food waste is top of actions that people are willing to take on food to be more sustainable, but awareness around waste and the skills needed to combat it declines amongst younger people.   
 
This presents a welcome challenge to harness and amplify that knowledge, and make sure that it’s not lost to younger generations.  
 
Our ambition is to build the Community Fridge Network to over 100 fridges that are financially stable and impactful. We know that one of the biggest challenges for these fridges is transporting food from retailers. We will be launching a new low carbon collection scheme next year exploring solutions that could be used by fridges. 
 
Our Food Savvy campaign working in collaboration with Norfolk and Suffolk Councils will continue to explore what impact a long-term awareness raising and behaviour change campaign can deliver. In the year ahead, the campaign will be extended to local retailers promoting the benefits of reducing food waste by making the most of leftovers, and we will continue to use playful campaigns to help young people and families tackle waste, make the most of their food and save some cash. The impact report for the first year of the campaign can be found here.
 
We will be partnering with major chains responsible for over 2,500 restaurants across the UK exploring new ways to cut restaurant plate waste. Our research has found that much of this waste is generated through buffets, and often driven by the choices of children. We will be testing new techniques to shift this behaviour.  

2) Retailers have a significant role in promoting sustainable eating 

Our polling discovered that supermarkets are main source of information for people about food. It also highlighted that people are starting to think more broadly about the environmental impact of their food choices including packaging, eating locally and reducing meat consumption. 
 
We will be partnering with one of the UK’s leading retailers to explore this relationship further testing ways to help people eat healthier food that has less environmental impact. This campaign will build on the significant successes we had working with IKEA through the Live LAGOM campaign

3) Behaviour change takes time and collaboration is key 

Our food choices are deeply personal connected to a range of drivers including taste, culture, habits, convenience and cooking skills. Changing deeply ingrained routines is complex and doesn’t happen overnight.

4) Our food habits are widening 

The polling revealed a growing split in our food habits. There are people increasingly aware of the environmental impact of food reflected in the growing vegan and flexitarian movements. There are also people struggling to put food on the table who are using low cost protein, unhealthy options to feed families. 
 
Hubbub is acutely aware of the need to support all sections of society on the transition to a healthier diet with a lower environmental impact. We have already created four Community Kitchens across the UK providing opportunities for people to learn new cooking skills and experiment with healthier, low-cost options. This campaign will be expanded next year helping more communities facing disadvantages. 

5) Healthy local food is increasingly important to people 

The polling discovered how important it is for people to eat locally produced food. This was particularly important for those over 55. Based on this evidence, Hubbub will be extending our campaigns to promote local growing. The year ahead will see a focus on helping people have access to herbs that are locally grown and use less packaging. We will work with more communities to transform unloved public spaces in into local growing plots, and will extend our ‘GiveItAGrow’ campaign in London.