IGD launches industry-wide campaign to change household waste behaviour through employees



A new initiative called ‘Working on Waste’ is being launched today (1 October), bringing together food and grocery companies throughout the month in a co-ordinated bid to help their employees reduce household food waste.

Spearheaded by food and grocery research and training charity, IGD, the campaign will use the scale of the industry collectively to talk directly to their employees as consumers, driving awareness and engagement to take learnings beyond the workplace into households.

Working in collaboration with WRAP, the campaign is set to reach around 650,000 employees working in the industry across 107 FMCG and associated companies. During the month of October, a mixture of food waste training and employee engagement will see:

  • Around 600,000 employees receiving ‘Top Tips’ on reducing household food waste
  • 12,000+ employees involved in ‘Leftover Lunch Day’
  • 180,000 employees being provided with access to Love Food Hate Waste meal planners
  • 100,000 using WRAP’s food waste diaries
  • 280,000 participating in the leftovers recipe challenge

As well as engaging employees, some companies, ranging from retailers, manufacturers and foodservice to SMEs, are also supporting the campaign with social media, digital, in-store and PR activity.

Fundamental to this, IGD will also be hosting nine roundtable roadshows across the country, bringing companies, suppliers and competitors together to discuss the issues surrounding household food waste. The findings from these roadshows, along with further consultations with other key stakeholders, will be used to inform an IGD Thought Leadership paper to be published in spring 2015.

The campaign is also being supported by other organisations such as universities and trade associations.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD said: “A lot of progress has been made already by companies across the industry to help consumers reduce household food waste. However, seven million tonnes of food and drink is still being thrown away by UK homes every year, costing consumers £12.5bn – so there’s more work to be done.

=“As an industry, we employ 3.6m people and it is these employees that will form the bedrock of our campaign, taking learnings from their company into their households. In its first year, from the 107 companies that have pledged their support so far, Working on Waste will reach around 650,000 employees in one month through meal planning advice, top tips, what to do with leftovers and much more. And if we can inspire each of these employees to inform their friends and family on how to reduce food waste, the campaign’s impact will be felt far beyond this number.

“Pivotal to this campaign is inviting companies from across the supply chain to come together under the same roof at our roundtable roadshows to explore all the ways in which the industry can work together in this area.

“I’m thrilled that companies of all sizes are supporting this campaign, demonstrating how serious they are about tackling food waste in homes. Through this scale, collaboration and power of our industry, we have the potential to make a substantial impact collectively in reducing household food waste in the UK.”

Dr Richard Swannell, Director at WRAP, said“Putting the issue of tackling food waste right at the heart of the food industry has led to a significant reduction in what we waste, but there is still 4.2mt of edible food being thrown away from UK homes alone. This campaign is a great opportunity to further mobilise action by those who work in the sector, which is good for their pockets and the environment.”