Food Waste is a weighty global issue. A 1.3 billion tonne issue to be exact. In 2015, under the #FortheBetter framework, Electrolux in Asia Pacific embarked on a corporate social community journey to help raise food waste awareness across the region, educating consumers why and how to reduce waste in their homes, and through grass roots activities to help beneficiaries such as the Food Bank Singapore, Red Cross (Vietnam), Community Children’s Fund (Thailand) and GT Community Care (Malaysia).
People everywhere across Asia Pacific love to talk about, share, photograph and eat food. Since the launch of the award-winning #HappyPlateSG initiative in Singapore in 2015, there are now four additional community-led initiatives that leverage this love of food and photography to promote the food waste awareness.
To kick-start the discussion, a region-wide survey (the Electrolux Food Waste at Home Survey 2016) conducted with 4000 individuals across eight markets was commissioned to gain a better understanding of how the public felt about food waste, whether they felt they could make a difference, how and what they waste, and how often. Using the findings, we then created targeted community campaigns with a range of activities to engage with the public.
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Eat Me First in Thailand focused on encouraging people to use what was in their fridges first, applying a ‘first in, first out’ policy. The campaign launched with a high profile event held in Gourmet, a top food retailer in The EmQuartier mall, and was attended by the community campaign’s ambassadors who shared tips for eating healthily and gave ideas of how to cook using existing ingredients in the fridge.
Specially made ‘Eat Me First’ tags were created and distributed via retailers, plus on Facebook as a download image. Individuals were encouraged to take a picture of the tag and share on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #Eatmefirst. For every three hashtags, Electrolux donated equivalent value of one nutritious breakfast for a child to the Community Children’s Fund in support of its “Breakfast for Kids” programme.
Malaysia’s ‘MY Happy Plate’ campaign, utilized Facebook to encourage Malaysians to reduce food waste by employing portion control, meal planning and making the most of leftovers. They were invited to pledge their support to reduce food waste by ‘liking’ the posts. For every three pledges, Electrolux Malaysia donated a ‘My Happy Plate’ food bundle to GT Community Care to distribute to 1,000 families in need.
In addition to the social media elements of the campaign we also worked with a renowned dietician to develop and share healthy recipes.
For 2017, Electrolux Malaysia worked with youth-run organization AIESEC to educate and reach out to the younger generation, with the hopes that they too could play an important part in helping curb food waste.
Teaming up with beneficiary partner the Red Cross, Electrolux Vietnam created a ‘Smarter Cooking at Home’ themed community initiative was launched to drive awareness, encourage sharing of ideas, and create a social movement for change. We invited the public to ‘like’ the Smarter Cooking at Home post on Facebook, which in turn would help raise funds for the Red Cross of Ho Chi Minh. More than 5,000 likes were generated in the first two weeks of the initiative.
A jointly organized ‘Happy Meal Charity event’ with the Red Cross complemented the online activity and provided an opportunity to reach families in need.
OzHarvest aims to educate employees and consumers on the issue of food waste, thereby positively impacting the environment. Additionally, the project will engage employees and consumers to help their own community and channel food to families and individuals in need. OzHarvest collects quality excess food from more than 2,000 commercial outlets and delivers it, direct and free of charge, to more than 900 charities.
In March 2018, a team of Electrolux volunteers led by CEO Mike Putt participated in OzHarvest’s flagship fundraising event CEO CookOff to prepare meals for 1,300 people in need.