IGD heralds social impact in 2020

Date : 15 December 2020

Social Impact from IGD: uniting and inspiring the food and consumer goods industry to mobilise it as a force for good

From helping to safeguard a consistent supply of food to food banks during the early days of the pandemic, to establishing a new work experience initiative for young, unemployed people, IGD has brought the food and consumer goods industry together to deliver genuine social impact across some critical issues in 2020. Highlights include:

  • 6,000 young people trained in valuable employability and life skills, at a time when young people will be particularly affected by rising unemployment
  • more than 22,000 pallets of donations to charities and food banks secured during the pandemic
  • a 17% reduction in food waste for businesses publicly reporting data through the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

Susan Barratt, CEO of IGD, said: “In a year of unprecedented disruption, the food and consumer goods industry has done a fantastic job to keep food on the shelves and protect the most vulnerable in our society; we owe a debt of gratitude to all the food heroes working across our industry.

“At IGD, our purpose is to drive change and make a tangible difference to society by uniting and inspiring our industry. We do this through sharing knowledge, through collaboration and by delivering great programmes on specific challenges. We use our unique ability to convene stakeholders across the whole food and consumer goods supply chain, to influence change across four key areas: People, Health, Sustainability and Economics. Our Social Impact initiatives have adapted at pace to the changing world and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in 2020.”

Further highlights of the Social Impact Report 2020 from IGD, include:

People: this pillar of work focuses on providing opportunities to young people to develop their employability skills. Launched in 2020, the Work Experience Programme brings some of the industry’s biggest retailers and brands together to deliver interactive learning and skills development. This programme, along with this year’s school workshops, saw 6,000 young people trained in valuable employability and life skills.

IGD also delivered 11,000 free learning hours to industry professionals in 2020, to build their knowledge and skills and to help foster an inclusive and productive workforce.

Health: IGD strives to make healthy and sustainable diets easy for everyone, to address the obesity crisis and climate change. A new research project called Appetite for Change was launched in March outlining the key opportunities to shift consumers’ behaviour towards healthier and sustainable diets, with further research released in September. This work now focuses on leading a coalition of businesses to test behaviour change interventions in real-life settings. The online hub with practical resources and consumer insights garnered 22,000 visits in 2020.

Sustainability: this workstream focuses on championing food waste reduction and redistribution to address climate change. Two years on from the launch of the IGD and WRAP Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, 210 UK food businesses have committed to target, measure and act on food waste. The latest comparable data shows a 17% reduction in food waste for participating businesses who publicly reported data.

Economics: IGD supports strategic planning and decision-making through economic analysis and engagement with policymakers. This year, at the height of the pandemic, IGD put out a rallying call to industry to safeguard a consistent supply of food to food banks, helping to ensure the most vulnerable did not go without. Donations made via IGD to its food redistribution partners, and via Defra’s follow-up fund, resulted in more than 22,000 pallets delivered to charities and food banks. IGD also helped Defra establish its Food Resilience Industry Forum, to share intelligence and address issues caused by COVID-19. This work continues as industry plans for the end of the transition period with the EU.

Susan Barratt continues: “None of the social impact we’ve delivered in 2020 would have been possible without the expertise and support of our industry advisory groups, member companies, customers and policymakers and of course, the team here at IGD, who are passionate about creating a tangible difference.

“We have an ambitious plan for 2021, including expanding the scale of our Work Experience programme, refocusing our efforts on inclusion and diversity and bringing industry together to drive collaborative action on food redistribution.”



For media enquiries and interview opportunities please contact McKenna Townsend on  [email protected] or 01425 472330.

Notes to editors:

  1. IGD is an organisation of two interconnected communities. The profits from Commercial Insight are reinvested into Social Impact, which together work to drive change that makes a tangible difference for society, business and the individual.
  2. Follow IGD’s communications team on Twitter for all the latest retail insights: @Comms_IGD
  3. All content is owned by IGD. If you use or refer to any content in this press release, please credit IGD