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Starbucks UK to tackle malnutrition and food waste

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In a new UK initiative, international coffee giant Starbucks has teamed up with Action Against Hunger to address food waste and global hunger, reports Emily Lewis

Following the success of it’s trial period in Manchester, UK, Starbucks and global humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger have extended their programme that seeks to combat hunger and food waste.

In the last hour of trading, the coffee giant will cut its food prices by half, donating 100% of the proceeds to Action Against Hunger. With the initial programme having raised £1,500 for the charity in 16 stores over an 11-week period, the extension of the initiative to 350 company owned UK stores has been met with enthusiasm.

“Our partnership with Starbucks will help Action Against Hunger reach more severely malnourished children so they can grow up strong and healthy whilst reducing food waste,” says Christine Kahmann, head of communications for Action Against Hunger.

Teaming up

Action Against Hunger has actively worked with the hospitality industry for more than 15 years now, with Kahmann stating that the charity believes that “companies and entrepreneurs have a pivotal role to play in the struggle to deliver a more equitable and just world, free from hunger.”

“To prevent food crises and malnutrition, the world will need to increase the availability of nutritious food while simultaneously cutting the environmental harm caused by food production,” details Kahmann.

Simon Redfern, head of communications for Starbucks Europe, recognises the extent of the challenge, stating that “tackling a challenge like food waste is not an easy one, but we’re proud to have developed a programme which will deliver for the long term.”

With the initiative having started just this month, there is already hope on both sides of the partnership for its further expansion, with Kahmann saying “we are very excited about this initiative and will work with Starbucks to explore future steps.”

The enthusiasm is mutual, with Redfern suggesting there may be room for upcoming initiatives, “off the back of the success of our Manchester trial, we’re pleased to roll out this programme to the rest of our company owned British stories, and will be working with our franchise partners to see where else this programme could work as well.”

Global hunger – a continuing issue

Matt White, director of fundraising and communications at Action Against Hunger urges the reality of the global hunger situation, stating, “right now there are 16 million children in the world suffering from malnutrition. By working together with Starbucks and their customers we aim to reduce food waste whilst raising money to save children’s lives where food security it threatened most.”

These circumstances have direct implications for the foodservice industry, with Kahmann recognising that “an expanding population and changes in diet in the developing world are putting increased pressure on global food supply chains.”

As the Starbucks and Action Against Hunger initiative begins to take momentum, Kahmann hopes that its success will inspire similar foodservice and hospitality operators to pursue “similar initiatives, in the UK and globally.”

“We look forward to continue to engage with companies in exciting ways to work together in the fight against one of the world’s greatest challenges – child hunger,” Kahmann says.

Further details:

To find out more about this initiative and Action Against Hunger, please visit: www.actionagainsthunger.org.uk/.

Emily Lewis