Enhanced donations and aid
The agreement builds on an existing relationship between local food banks and 13 Unilever countries in Europe. Together these partnerships provide more than 3 million meals1 a year to people in need.
Over the next three years, Unilever will enhance in-kind donations from its local bases and provide volunteer support from Unilever workers to aid in food collection and distribution. In addition, expertise and a yearly contribution of €100,000 will help to develop new infrastructures that maximise the impact of food banks. The 2014 contribution will benefit food banks in Eastern and Southern Europe.
The partnership ties in with Unilever’s purpose to make sustainable living commonplace, as well as one of the goals in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan which is to help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
Neil Humphrey, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Europe, says: “Many people are facing long-term hardship and are struggling to feed their families, with food banks playing an increasingly vital role. At the same time, Unilever is committed to tackling food waste. We believe we can help by donating not only our products but also expertise in areas such as logistics to ensure food reaches those that are most in need.”
Assisting vulnerable people
The agreement comes as statistics from Eurostat show that more than 120 million people – or nearly a quarter of the population of the European Union – are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, while at the same time over 100 million tonnes of food are wasted in Europe annually.
Isabel Jonet, President of European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA), comments: “We are convinced that fighting food waste and poverty is only possible by working together and building partnerships with stakeholders. The long-term commitment announced by Unilever is a strong example of partnership in action which will deliver real benefit to the most vulnerable and needy by helping our food bank network to maximise its positive impact.”
Current activities as part of the partnership include a scheme where Knorr in France will undertake a marketing campaign that makes a donation to FEBA for every product purchased during dedicated in-store promotions. Additionally, in the Netherlands, 35,000 families have benefited from a hot meal prepared with Unilever products such as Conimex, Bertolli and Unox.
The FEBA partnership is part of a wider commitment from Unilever in fighting hunger and supporting deprived people around the world. In Europe, we are also working in partnership with Oxfam to support the setting up of new community food banks and the re-distribution of surplus food in the UK. In the US, we support Feeding America, the leading domestic hunger-relief charity and its nationwide network of food banks in the fight against hunger.
In 2013, the equivalent of 3.8 million meals was donated to food banks in 13 European countries (Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, France, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and UK).