Food waste – what’s needed to accelerate change?

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Despite a decade or more of focus on food waste reduction and readily available advice and support, there is still a lot to be done to up-skill and engage the workforce further in smart ways to keep waste to a minimum.

Bill Toner of CH&CO said:


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Ensuring chefs confront food waste head-on, on a daily basis is one of the solutions offered up by our chefs. Joel Braham, of The Good Egg with two sites in London, reports that a simple logistical move has helped his teams get to grips with the issue.

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The industry should also capitalise on the good start it’s made to embrace redistribution of surplus food. JD Wetherspoon is an excellent example of a business that linked up with one of the best-known redistribution charities, FareShare, in 2018. Within a few months, surplus or blemished food was being sent directly from its central distribution centre to feed 4,000 people via 100 charities. Likewise, Azzurri Group reports having provided 24 tonnes of surplus food to FareShare, providing more than 57,000 meals.

The Government has recognised the potential this solution offers and has appointed a Food Waste Champion, Ben Elliot, whose brief includes facilitating increased redistribution from retail and foodservice.

Asked to identify the most stubborn barriers, the CEO of one of Britain’s best-known restaurant groups, which has increased the number of its sites recycling food waste from 30% to 92.6% of its managed sites, said: “LANDLORDS. Where we operate within the constraints of a landlord site it is not always possible to have full control of our waste segregation.”
The SRA is further stepping up its work with some of central London’s largest landlords, helping them engage with their restaurant tenants and customers, providing advice, support and encouragement as well as extending consolidated collections.


Find out about our how you can fight food waste with our Food Waste: Bad Taste Programme  :


When it comes to the proper disposal of unavoidable food waste, operators need all the help they can get from the waste management industry. The waste collection postcode lottery is expected to end as food waste collections become compulsory across England and Wales thanks to the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, published in December 2018.

Setting further targets, as a number of our interviewees said their businesses would be doing in 2019, is key. As the old saying goes: “If it ain’t measured it won’t get monitored.”

In September 2018 WRAP published its Food Waste Reduction Roadmap20 designed to drive down the UK’s £20bn food waste bill, with 90 organisations agreeing to the Target – Measure – Act approach. All of them have agreed to report on food waste by September 2019. Foodservice sign-ups are noticeable by their absence, with just 11 having made the commitment.

Widespread adoption of Target, Measure, Act is vital to achieve national policy objectives and targets on food waste reduction, including Courtauld 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3.

The SRA fully endorses WRAP’s Food Waste Roadmap and is committed to supporting its goal to reduce food waste across the industry by 25% by 2025. This would reduce carbon emission by 900,000 tonnes a year – equivalent to grounding more than 2,000 London to New York return flights. We’ll drive action by enabling more foodservice businesses, especially smaller ones, to report into Courtauld, supported by a programme of inspiration, insight and support through content and events.


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Find out about our how you can fight food waste with our Food Waste: Bad Taste Programme :

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