‘More joint working’ needed to tackle food waste

Posted on 11th November, 2013

Consumer goods giant Unilever and retailer Tesco have called for a more ‘joined-up approach’ across the supply chain in order to tackle food waste in the UK.

Speaking at WRAP’s annual conference in London last week (November 7), Amanda Sourry, UK and Ireland chair at Unilever, said that “fractured” offerings of waste services across the UK and Europe are causing inconsistency in communicating messages for both businesses and households.

She said that both “harmonisation of collections across the UK and behavioural change with food in the home were needed to tackle food waste and create a circular economy”, adding that “this is where we see a chance for more working together”.

She said: “A truly circular economy will require a much more joined up thinking and a systematic approach rather than the piecemeal systems we have at the moment.

She added: “Ultimately, it is not going to be very helpful if we are doing different things in different parts of the country.”

In January, Unilever – one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies – achieved zero waste to landfill in the UK and Ireland.

Ms Sourry highlighted Marmite as an example of a Unilever brand that was originally created from waste products from beer, adding that the Marmite factory now has an anaerobic digestion facility on site. However, pointing to the smaller number of AD facilities in the UK compared to countries such as Germany, Ms Sourry said that more investment was needed in the technology.

She said: “To realise the true value of AD we need to invest in the long term and learn from others who have done it already.”