Changing the culture of food waste
- By Richard Branson -
- Feb 25, 2013
Last night at dinner I glanced at the plates as they were being cleared away and was shocked at the amount of food that hadn’t been eaten and was thrown away. This happens in homes, offices and restaurants around the globe.
Worldwide, one-third of all food produced, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. This isn’t just terrible for the environment; it is a complete waste of money - around US$1 trillion, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stats. The average UK family could save £680 per year and the UK hospitality sector could save £724 million per year by tackling food waste.
The UN Environment Programme and FAO have launched a global campaign to change the culture of food waste, aiming to dramatically reduce the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted each year.
Called Think.Eat.Save, the campaign is a great way to learn more about the many initiatives trying to combat this problem worldwide. This could hopefully have a big impact upon large organisations as well as individuals.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: “In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically.”
On Necker, we have started to serve much smaller portions, with the understanding that people can always ask for more. In addition, we recently joined the WHOLE WORLD Water campaign, introducing a new scheme to bottle our own water. This act alone will save around 200,000 plastic bottles annually.
Around the Virgin Group we are looking into ways to reduce waste at all of our companies. For example, Virgin Atlantic are focusing on reducing food waste from in-flight meals. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.
What changes could you make to your business or household to change the culture of food waste?
Image(s) by Jack Brockway
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group