Unilever's Amanda Sourry: Why we are focusing on food waste

Unilever: latest sustainability initiative is focusing on food waste
Unilever: latest sustainability initiative is focusing on food waste

Unilever is addressing food waste as "one of the biggest issues that we know we need to deal with" in the UK, according to Amanda Sourry, chairman of Unilever UK and Ireland.

Sourry was speaking at the launch of the Sustain Ability Challenge, which will record 12 families across the UK over the next six months as Unilever, in partnership with the Futures Company, helps them in reducing their monthly food bill by 15% and their household rubbish by 25%.

The Sustain Ability Challenge feeds into Unilever’s overall Sustainable Living Plan, in which the company aims to halve its overall environmental footprint.

Sourry said: "Food waste is one of the biggest issues that we know we need to deal with as consumer business in the UK."

Sourry explained that Unilever had focused its latest initiative on documenting and helping to change consumer behaviour towards food waste because 70% of the product’s sustainability journey lay with the consumer, from the point of purchase to how it is disposed of.

The remaining 30% depended on Unilever and the way the company sourced its products and handled its supply chain.

She said: "We have been doing a huge amount over the years in our own supply chain to prevent waste happening, and we will continue that journey, but we want to deal with the 70% that is in the consumer’s hands and how to drive that.

"I am looking forward to taking these insights and using them productively within our business for long term solutions.

"We want to help people not just to adopt new behaviours, but to stick with them," she added.

Speaking to Marketing ahead of the event, Nora Costello, brand building director for Unilever’s savoury, dressings and snacking division, said the company saw the Knorr brand as having "tremendous potential" to benefit from the results of the challenge, which could be seen in upcoming marketing campaigns for the brand.

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