World Food Day, celebrated annually in over 150 countries, aims to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and to raise the awareness of the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. This day provides me the perfect opportunity – as President of Foods at Unilever – to share how we are showing our support this year through our brands, our chefs and our partnerships.
When it comes to hunger, the stats say it all. One in four people globally are still not receiving the nutrition they need to live a healthy life. The world will need to produce 60 per cent more food by 2050 to feed a growing population. Meanwhile, one third of all food produced worldwide is either lost or wasted.
When Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, joined global leaders in New York this September for the UN General Assembly, he affirmed the importance of the role of business in helping to deliver the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the shared “Global Goals” for a better world.
World Food Day is a chance to demonstrate our support for SDG 2 – achieving Zero Hunger. Through our commitment to Sustainable Nutrition and our ambition to be a progressive food company, we are working to make more high-quality, nutritious food available and accessible. On this World Food Day I am proud to share the ways our brands, our chefs and our partners are working to inspire people to cook delicious, nutritious meals for themselves and for others, and to help feed a growing world with healthy food from a healthy planet.
Chefs’ manifesto: cooking up conversation
Chefs are at the heart of our food business – developing products and recipes and inspiring people to cook delicious, nutritious meals at home. Unilever Foods Solutions (UFS), our dedicated foodservice business, employs over 300 chefs, and helps millions of other chefs across the world grow their food businesses and do what they love.
Bridging the gap between production and consumption, chefs can also be influential advocates for food system transformation. That’s why our UFS and Knorr chefs have been working with the SDG2 Advocacy Hub – made up of organisations including the World Food Programme and Save the Children – to develop a Chefs’ Manifesto which translates the SDGs into tangible actions that chefs can take in their kitchens.
The Manifesto’s aim is to create a community of chefs across the world, equipped with a simple set of actions which will help them drive progress on the food system issues that matter most to them. We can help drive this movement – by sharing the Manifesto with our chefs and networks and encouraging them to tackle key issues such as Food Waste and Nutritious Cooking which are at the heart of Sustainable Nutrition.
#ShareTheMeal: Knorr’s support for zero hunger
This year Unilever celebrates ten years of partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP). Inspired by our chefs, by WFP’s tireless efforts to achieve the goal of ‘Zero Hunger’ and with the knowledge that each day millions of photos of food are posted, liked and shared around the world, Knorr, Unilever’s largest food brand, is giving food lovers the opportunity to turn their food post into a real meal for someone in need.
On World Food Day, each time Knorr’s #ShareTheMeal post is shared or retweeted on Facebook and Twitter, Knorr will donate the equivalent of one meal via WFP, up to a total of 1.5 million meals. By donating via WFP’s system of cash-based transfers, Knorr’s contribution will give families in need the means to choose and buy their own food with dignity and freedom.
It’s time to focus on building a food system where no one is left out – where all people have access to nutritious food. We’ve already seen the critical role that the food service can play in moving to a sustainable food system – a system where ingredients are grown with respect for the environment, where no good food goes to waste and where everyone, everywhere enjoys the nutritious meals they need to thrive. And I am proud of the role our global brands are playing to make sustainable living commonplace, including this latest campaign to encourage consumers to #ShareTheMeal with a person in need on World Food Day.
I ask you to join me and support our call to action this World Food Day. Whether business, chef or consumer, we all have a part to play in building a better food future, and ensuring that everyone has access to food that tastes good, does good and doesn’t cost the earth.