Every year, a staggering 10 million tonnes of food lands up in South Africa’s skips, bins and landfills. Of this, fruits, vegetables and cereals account for 70% of the wastage. 
Elsewhere in the world, things are no different. Food loss and waste is a global crisis with one-third of all food produced globally lost or wasted . This is about 1.3 billion tonnes of food – an amount that would take up more land surface area than China and India combined, according to the UN Environment Programme. 
Tackling food waste is an opportunity to address food insecurity, protect natural resources and mitigate climate change – and it requires a global approach. There is no reason anybody should experience daily hunger and undernourishment, especially when billions of kilograms of good food go to waste every day.
Our goal at Unilever is to help alleviate this. Being one of the world’s largest food producers, we are passionate about protecting and preserving food – starting with ourselves. How? By educating people about the harmful effects of food waste through our brands. To this end, we’ve committed to halving food waste in our operations by 2025 (from 2019 levels) as part of the Champions 12.3 initiative.
We want everyone in our business to be a Food Waste Warrior and spot any opportunity to save food.
Unilever’s food waste commitments
We have ambitious goals when it comes to tackling food waste. By 2025, we aim to cut food waste by half in our direct operations, from the factory to the shelf. Food-saving techniques we’re using include manufacturing fixes and circular economy approaches. For instance, if our ice cream packaging lines stop working, we store the ice cream safely so it can be packaged when the lines are fixed, rather than letting it become food waste. We also make sure we use every scrap of raw materials so they’re not wasted.
We know, of course, that as one of the world’s biggest food manufacturers we have a role to play and that we cannot do it alone. The partners in our complex food chain must join us if we are to achieve sustainable change at scale, from production and manufacturing to retail and consumption.
Here are more of our Unilever Food Waste commitments:
We’ll continue to publicly communicate our food waste data in our global Unilever Food Waste Report each year.
Food-saving brand innovations
Our brands have developed innovative strategies to prevent food waste. At Unilever, we have a rich history of putting by-products to good use, pioneered by some of our oldest and most loved brands. As an example, here are some ways in which Hellmann’s is encouraging consumers to avoid waste:
To find out more about food waste initiatives from Hellmann’s, click here.
Unilever brand Knorr is also playing a dynamic role in inspiring consumers to be more resourceful when it comes to food. By encouraging mindful eating through its #EatForGood campaign, supporting sustainable agriculture, and championing changes in consumer buying habits, Knorr has thrown a spotlight on the importance of preventing food waste, starting in the kitchen.
Here are Knorr’s top tips for fighting food waste at home: