Consumers are demanding more from the brands they work or associate themselves with. This change shows the need for companies to lead with compassion and authenticity. In addition to the war on plastic, the focus on ethical purchasing and the supporting of sustainable food production is the increased scrutiny on the volume of food waste sent to landfill.
*Nearly one third of the food produced in the world is discarded or wasted resulting not just in a significant loss of income/profit but also in an increased amount reaching landfill where it rots and produces methane gas which is the second most common greenhouse gas. Throwing out food contributes to climate change and now, more than ever, consumer expectations are adding urgency to the government, manufacturers, retailers and operators to take action.
**Eliminating food waste by 2030 is one of the priorities of the government's Resources and Waste Strategy for England. To achieve this goal the government is reviewing current fresh produce date labelling and is consulting on regulations making it mandatory for businesses over a certain size to declare their annual food waste. Working towards this are all the major grocery retailers and a number of leading manufacturers and processors who are already committed to halving food waste to landfill by 2030 under the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, published by WRAP in September 2018.
- Smart shopping is key - order what you need
- Using as much of a product as possible - from keeping the skin on potatoes and chickens to using as many cuts of meat as possible
- Keep an eye on portion sizes - keep menu dishes within the healthy range and avoid options to 'scale up' or 'go large' on dishes
- Make use of freezer - allow key ingredients and products to not only last longer but to always be available; freezing is one of the easiest ways to preserve food, leftovers, excess produce and bulk batches.
- Get creative in the kitchen - make use of produce parts that might usually be thrown away as part of soups, sauces and pesto
- Share don't throw - sell off or share meals, foods, leftovers that are destined for the bin to others
- Consider more canned foods - with similar nutritional levels as fresh, canned foods have a longer shelf life
**Sources: Mintel - The Ethical Consumer April 2019