Nestlé, Unilever, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Commit to Halve the World’s Food Waste

Nestlé, Unilever, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Commit to Halve the World's Food Waste

The Consumer Goods Forum, whose more than 400 members include Nestlé, Unilever, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, says it will work to halve food waste over the next decade.

Food waste has become an increasingly significant problem, with as much as one-third of global food production wasted at some point in the supply chain, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

The CGF also pointed to climate change’s impact on supply chains and the need to take action to reduce greenhouse gases. Wasted food actually contributes to global warming, adding an estimated 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year. That’s a value of nearly $750 billion each year, Food Navigator reports.

“It is a tragedy that up to two billion tonnes of food produced around the world is lost or wasted, never making it onto a plate,” Unilever CEO Paul Polman said at a recent CGF event in New York.

“The Resolution on Food Waste the CGF Board of Directors has adopted demonstrates our willingness to engage and take action in an area where a collective industry effort can make a difference,” Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke said during the conference.

While details of the plan to reduce food waste have not yet been outlined, it could include more rigorous efforts to route expiring or slightly damaged foods to food banks, shelters and other organizations that distribute donations to the homeless and less fortunate. The plan may also include efforts in parts of the world where ingredients are sourced—like Indonesia, a huge source of palm oil for processed food manufacturers—such as providing communities with technology and resources to harvest and utilize local foods more efficiently.

The commitment comes on the heels of another big announcement from CGF members: to phase out HFC refrigerants by the end of this year in an effort to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

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Food shopping cart image via Shutterstock

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.