New research commissioned by Hubbub and Unilever reveals that in the first week of the summer break £12 million worth of food will be thrown in the bin as families head off on holiday. More than half of people surveyed admitted to throwing away perfectly edible food before they went on holiday. This snapshot starkly illustrates that food waste is still a real challenge in the UK.

Responding to the challenge, Hubbub and Unilever are launching a 'Joint Ambition to cut domestic food waste in the UK'. Our desire is to create a dynamic and broad coalition of organisations committed to helping households better understand the value of food and reduce food waste in the UK.

The joint ambition has been developed following extensive consultation with 240 organisations and builds on public polling. It contains five core principles:

  1. Collaboration between organisations from all sectors is essential to reducing household food waste.
  2. Communication should demonstrate the value of food ensuring as much as possible is eaten.
  3. Awareness needs to be built on the wider environmental, social and financial impact of food.
  4. Skills and knowledge need to be built so that people get maximum value from food.
  5. Consistency is needed for food waste collection systems across the UK

Click on the image below to download the full report

The Joint Ambition seeks to bring together unusual bedfellows to develop and run food campaigns that engage new audiences with fresh messaging. The summer campaign encapsulates this approach in action.

The research reveals the shocking level of food wasted as people head on summer holidays with milk, salad, fruit, yogurt and bread topping the list of food most likely to be thrown away. The research highlighted a significant knowledge gap. 45% of people said they threw food away because it couldn’t be frozen, but many weren’t actually aware which foods can be frozen – 58% didn’t realise you can freeze milk, 62% ham and 63% hard cheese.

Finally it was intriguing to discover that a massive 81% of people would be happy to receive food from their neighbour but only 13% of people currently do this and it hadn’t occurred to 26% of respondents.

Responding to the research a new campaign is being created providing practical support and guidance to households. A number of companies such as Talk Mobile, Smart Living and the Responsible Travel Company are partnering on the campaign sending out messages and ideas to their customers as part of their holiday planning.

This engagement of relevant companies demonstrates the strength of the joint ambition enabling messages that are topical and helpful being sent to people who might not normally think about food waste.

Join the Joint Ambition

The summer food waste campaign is the first of a number of practical campaigns that will bring the Joint Ambition to life. Hubbub and Unilever hope that a growing band of organisations are inspired to join together to back the Joint Ambition. If you are interested please get in touch.