If food waste were a country it would be the third biggest carbon emitter in the world, yet new research reveals that less than two in five people realise food waste is a major cause of climate change. Cutting food waste would help the UK hit carbon targets, save councils and taxpayer’s money on waste disposal costs, and help households make the most of their income. 

For the past two years, Hubbub has partnered with Suffolk Waste Partnership and Norfolk County Council through the Food Savvy campaign, aiming to help residents save money and cut food waste. Local polling demonstrates support for the campaign with 37% of respondents saying they feel frustrated when they throw away food and 28% saying it makes them feel sad. 

Over two years, Food Savvy has developed an extensive range of locally relevant online content, creating a hub full of tips, how-to guides and recipes helping people to reduce food waste, eat healthily and cut food bills. The website has generated 8.7K unique Norfolk and Suffolk based visitors. 69% of 188 survey respondents who were signed up to the Food Savvy regular mailings reported that the content helped them to reduce their food waste by an average of 20.3%.

Supporting the online content, Food Savvy has run 15 campaigns, partnered with 50 organisations, exhibited at 70 events and collaborated with social media influencers. This has successful engaged over 30,000 people across the two counties. A full impact report for the campaign can be found at Foodsavvy.org.uk. 

The most recent ‘Forgot Milk?’ campaign highlighted that 6.7 million pints of milk are wasted each year in Norfolk and Suffolk. This would be enough to fill Norwich Castle Keep from the main floor to the ceiling which is why Food Savvy used a huge light installation to turn the castle white to reveal the scale of the waste. True to the spirit of Food Savvy, the awareness raising encouraged practical action highlighting that milk can be frozensomething that a quarter of people polled had never done and which a further 15% of people frequently forget. 

The impact of COVID-19 has boosted the need for Food Savvy with household budgets increasingly under pressure as we face a period of prolonged austerity. The shock of seeing empty supermarket shelves plus the need to cook more at home has resulted in people changing the way they value food, with many seeking to learn new culinary skills and cut the amount of food they waste. 

It is against this backdrop that #FoodSavvy heads into a third year seeking to build on the content, momentum and experience generated to-date. The Food Savvy partners believe that the content and knowledge generated to-date could benefit councils, businesses and households across the UK. We're inviting other local authorities and companies to follow the leadership of Norfolk County Council and Suffolk Waste Partnership to see how #FoodSavvy could be scaled within the region or extended to other areas. If this opportunity is of interest, please do get in touch by mailing [email protected]. 

Want to read the full #FoodSavvy impact report? Find it below.