How food companies are combating wastage
With one third of global food produce being wasted each year, and almost one billion people going hungry, food manufacturers are turning their attention to address this global issue. With new initiatives launching to combat food wastage, the Real Staffing Food & FMCG team highlight the industry changes that are trying to end world hunger.
How food wastage exists
Globally, enough food is produced to feed the entire population of the world. However one of the biggest problems humanity is facing is food wastage. Real Staffing’s Food specialist, Imrana Sabir, explains, “With the global population expected to rise by an additional two billion people by 2050, we stand to lose half of every tonne of produced food to wastage.” This wastage is typically a result of problems with transport, packaging, storing, and legal requirements. In spite of this, one of the biggest issues stems from cultural impacts and misinformation.
Misunderstood packaging information like ‘Sell By’ and ‘Best Before’ dates, have created a belief that food is inedible after this time, whereas a product may have over a week of use. Interestingly, only one quarter of the global food wastage is required to end world hunger, which has led to global campaigns from food companies to help reduce the amount of wasted food around the world.
Methods to combat food wastage
Each major food company has created their own methods to help reduce wastage of food. One of the leaders of this concept in the UK is Tesco. They’ve partnered with the FoodCloud app, so they can report any leftover food that’s past its sell-by date (not ‘use by’), and can be collected to provide perfectly edible food to local food banks.
Tesco have also become the first major food retailer to scrap its ‘best before’ dates, as they led to a culture of food wastage where edible food was thrown out by consumers due to confusion between when the food may start to show aesthetic changes and when it shouldn’t be consumed.
Morrisons are also helping to reduce food wastage of fruit and vegetables by introducing their ‘Wonky Fruit & Veg’ range, where they’ve created a cheaper alternative for fruit and vegetables that don’t comply with aesthetic standards. By branding this as a positive alternative, the ‘Wonky’ range is now present in 12% of all shopping baskets.
With major retailers applying these methods, it’s started to influence their competitors which can effectively lead to a complete cultural change in the UK with consumers.
The importance of finding a solution to food wastage
Real Staffing’s Food & FMCG consultant, Matthew Crawley, explains “I was first made aware of some of the global food wastage strategies through one of my key clients. They’ve tackled the issue of poverty by donating a segment of their products to local food banks, as well as enforcing an emphasis on healthy eating, breakfast clubs, and cooking lessons for children living in poverty. This inspires my work every day to help support a future without world hunger.”
With the introduction of waste management teams, this has created new job opportunities for professionals in the industry. With an end goal of ending world hunger, Real Staffing’s Food team pride themselves on their ability to support a life-changing industry.