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The Sophie Prize 2011

is awarded to

Tristram Stuart

for his fight against food waste

Tristram Stuart (1977) is a British activist and writer in the realm of food and its social and environmental impacts. Since the publication of his acclaimed book Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal (Penguin, 2009), Stuart has been helping charities, governments, businesses and institutions implement reductions in food waste.

In December 2009 Stuart organized 'Feeding the 5000' on Trafalgar Square in London, where he (and helpers) cooked lunch for five thousand people based on ingredients which would otherwise have gone to waste. In cooperation with The Guardian he has launched the 'Food Waste Watchdog' project, encouraging people to take photos of food being wasted and uploading them to a dedicated website. In 2010 he co-founded 'A Taste of Freedom', an innovative recycling system whereby fruit and vegetables which would otherwise have been thrown away are turned into smoothies and sorbets.

Stuart combines the roles of the activist, the lobbyist and the analytical writer. Using many striking examples, Stuart shows how simple changes can be introduced by consumers, politicians and businesses to dramatically reduce waste. He emphasizes the shameful dimensions of food distribution, whereby more than a third of the food goes to waste in rich countries. At the same time, nearly a billion people worldwide are seriously undernourished.

Stuart underlines how the waste of food is an environmental threat. If production were tailored to fit the demand, the net result would be a healthier environment. Stuart also points out how development aid could invest in local farmers and local agriculture infrastructure, for instance grain store and pasteurization, so that food could get from farm to market before it is destroyed.

Tristram Stuart's initiatives and analyses of food waste do not pretend to offer a complete solution to the world's environmental problems. However, he should be commended for calling attention to a widespread - but long neglected - phenomenon: The world's food waste mountain.

Stuart shows how food is an essential global resource, and how reducing food waste may have positive consequences - both at an individual level, for the world's economy and ecology. Stuart spans the macro and the micro, and the movement he has instigated, based primarily in the UK with promising developments in several other countries, has enormous potential for expansion into the rest of the world.

Tristram Stuart is awarded the Sophie Prize of 2011 for his innovative, energetic, humorous and thoughtful contributions to raising consciousness about and acting in relation to one of the most palpable environmental and moral scandals of the contemporary world, namely food waste at all levels of society, from the kitchen bin to the rubbish dump, from the orange groves of California to the supermarket waste container.

Speech by the chair of the board of the Sophie Prize, Liv Røhnebæk Bjergene

Speech by the chair of the board of the Sophie Prize, Liv R°hnebŠk Bjergene

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends

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Photos from Prize Ceremony 2011

Photos from Prize Ceremony 2011

Browse and download photos from the Sophie Prize Ceremony 2011.