Food waste poses a huge environmental and social threat on a global scale. At the same time it offers one of the biggest opportunities for reducing our environmental impact whilst increasing food availability where it is needed most. The Feedback team have built a reputation as global thought leaders and a hub of international mobilisation on the issue.
Our goal is to achieve significant and measurable reductions in food waste on a global scale and in this way dramatically reduce the environmental impact of our food system.
We have made significant progress towards our goal in a number of ways. In the past year we have done so by: galvanising public action, movement building, influencing policy, and supply chain investigations.
Galvanising public action
We have seen our reach grow across across the globe. In Europe we have organised events in Poland, Hungary, Spain, Belgium, and Greece amongst many others. In the UK, we have held a number of successful Feeding the 5000 and Disco Soup events in iconic venues such as the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 2016, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation Feeding the 5000 continued its US expansion organising events in NYC, Washington DC, Denver, Portland and Hudson Valley. In May 2017, LA hosted its first Feeding the 5000.
Feedback’s gleaning network continues to grow. In 2016 with the help of over 700 volunteers we gleaned 100 tonnes of fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste: that’s 1.25 million portions of fruit and veg filling bellies not bins.
Partnerships are at the heart of Feedback’s work – we aim to build local coalitions of grassroots organisations, larger NGOs and stakeholders to create a food waste movement that thrives long after Feeding the 5000 has finished. We worked with one such grassroots movement, Disco Soupe, a celebratory chopping event whereby attendees transform fruit and vegetable waste or unsold food in to meals in a musical and festive atmosphere. The format has now spread across Europe and in to the US and Kenya as a result of Feedback’s work.
As well as working with grassroots groups and the public to create exciting and celebratory food waste initiatives, Feedback also offers expert advice and recommendations to international institutions (UN, European Commission), politicians, and decision-makers in the food industry.
We were instrumental in persuading Tesco to become the world’s first retailer to commit to publicly reporting their audited food waste data. In 2016, Sainsbury’s released its UK-wide in-store food waste data for the first time, coinciding with an Evening Standard investigation which we were a part of.
Following media coverage of our Feeding the 5000 events in the US and a large-scale petition, two major retail associations, the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association, produced date label guidance to prevent excess consumer waste due to confusion caused by unclear date labels.
In 2016, we gave evidence to the Environmental Farming and Rural Affairs (EFRA) inquiry into food waste in England. The committee’s final report took on the majority of our recommendations notably the need for supermarkets to publish their food waste data, the need to uphold the food waste pyramid and a recommendation for supermarkets to loosen their cosmetic standards and sell more wonky veg – read our full response to the report here.
Supply Chain Investigations
Our work to uncover the hidden causes of food waste has led Feedback to step up our work in the Global South, investigating supply chain waste in Africa and Latin America caused by Western supermarkets. With support from the Rockefeller Foundation we produced a large report on food waste in international supply chains.
Feedback has grown from just a few members of staff to a team of almost twenty. In 2017 we have an opportunity to evolve our unique style of campaigning for new contexts, with our sights firmly set on taking the best of our eight-year history of driving action on food waste to new strategic interventions for greater impact. We are very excited for the future.
Want to be a food waste warrior? Join our movement.
To learn more about our impact from 2016 please download Feedback’s Social Impact Report.
To read our previous social impact report, from 2014/15, click here.