This is how you can get involved too. Take action on the issues that you care about and let’s make a positive difference to our planet and society together.
From farm to fork, our vision is to be a World-Class Force for Good in Food: we believe we have a critical role to play in helping to transform the world’s food system.
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So what exactly is the problem?
First, Earth’s resources are finite. A third of all land is already used to produce the food we eat and agriculture is the second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and the largest user of freshwater. Using more and more resources to grow food isn’t ecologically feasible.
Second, tonnes and tonnes of perfectly edible food never gets eaten. Either it’s lost to poor logistics and inadequate storage, or it’s thrown away by consumers.
And this in a world where sharply in all regions, yet nearly a billion people still go to bed hungry every night. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Covid-19 pandemic could add a further 100 million people to this distressing hunger toll.
Transforming the system is crucial
The food system isn’t working, and it’s impacting people and the environment the world over.
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As one of the largest food companies in the world, with global like Knorr, Hellmann’s, Magnum and Lipton, we know we have an influence on people’s diets. We continually ensure our food is a force for good. And by making sure it tastes good, consumers continue to choose our products.
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We’ve thought long and hard about what really makes a responsible food company. We believe food should be celebrated. And what excites us are the very real, very tangible benefits that food can bring, such as health, wellbeing, joy and friendship.
That’s why we’re inspiring people to cook delicious, nutritious meals from diverse ingredients that are good for them and the planet. We’re continuously improving the nutritional quality of our products and in 2020 we launched the Future Foods commitments.
Future Foods is our ambitious set of commitments to help people transition towards healthier diets and responsibly enjoy treats, while reducing the environmental impact of the food chain. It’s how we’ll grow our Nutrition and Ice Cream businesses and become a World-Class Force for Good in Food.
We’re helping millions of people to eat better, by offering affordable and nutritious foods and beverages, and encouraging them to cook with healthier recipes. By providing more plant-based foods, as well as meat and dairy alternatives, we’re helping people eat more diverse and nutritious diets that include fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes.
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For a food system to be fully sustainable, it means looking beyond the farm gate as well – to the energy, water and other natural resources used when food is transported, stored, processed and consumed.
Agriculture, food, nutrition, health, livelihoods and the environment are all intimately interconnected. Focus on one without the others and the whole system collapses.
We can’t afford for that to happen. In fact, the cost of inaction to business is far greater than the cost of action.
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We’re taking action on wider, related issues too, such as , , , , and focusing on as well as hunger and malnutrition. In fact, the put Unilever in first place in its ranking of 350 food companies’ environmental, social and nutritional impact.
Feeding the world is a global priority – and it needs to be tackled at a global level. In autumn 2021, for example, we supported the UN Food Systems Summit, which brought together governments and key organisations from across the value chain to transform the food system.
We’re also to lead this change. For instance, we want to see reformulation targets in line with WHO guidelines for fats, sugar and salt, with incentives to create smaller portions to help people eat nutritious food and follow a healthy, balanced diet. We believe marketing to children under 16 is unacceptable. As of January 2023, we ended this practice, and we’re now calling on others to do the same. In addition, regulatory hurdles on the safe fortification of products with key micronutrients need to be removed.
A sustainable food system has to be the answer. And now has to be the time.Hanneke Faber, our President, Nutrition