Sodexo embraces wonky fruit and veg in fight against food waste

As part of its commitment to prevent unnecessary food waste, Sodexo, the world’s largest services company, has launched its own wonky veg initiative, known as Wasteful to Tasteful, to help reduce the volume of grade B* fruit and vegetables being thrown away or left to rot.

With over 30% of crops never leaving the farm Sodexo has joined forces with Waste Knot, an organisation committed to connecting businesses with surplus food and Ferryfast, a co-operative of farmers in Worcestershire, to introduce boxes of rescued fruit and vegetables, delivered in recycled banana boxes to Sodexo’s catering teams across the country.

112 sites in its corporate services, universities, state schools, energy & resources and government services business areas are all receiving the weekly vegetable boxes and monthly fruit boxes.

Reducing waste is a key priority for Sodexo, reflected in its own Better Tomorrow commitments and its goal to reduce food and drink waste by 20% in the UK as part of its agreement with WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 2025 and its recent commitment to WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, announced last week.

Catrin Thorndike, category & sustainable procurement manager for Sodexo UK & Ireland said, “We are extremely excited to be able to use these vegetables which, apart from their look and size, still retain their nutritional value and delicious taste.  The produce is perfect for use in a range of dishes including soups, stews and puddings as it really doesn’t matter what they look like before they are prepared and cooked. If we can demonstrate that our top chefs can create delicious and inspiring dishes using wonky veg then hopefully it will help encourage our customers to do the same at home.

The implementation of Wasteful to Tasteful also builds on Sodexo’s commitment to offer all consumers healthier lifestyle options by creating more plant-forward and plant-based meals . As a company, Sodexo is committed to encouraging consumers to eat more vegetables, beans, pulses and wholegrains, thereby lowering carbon emissions while delivering great tasting and healthier dishes.

For the last five years the company has worked with the WWF to create a range of plant-forward and plant-based recipes.  All of this helps Sodexo fulfil its veg pledge to procure 10% more veg by 2020 and 16% more by 2025.  The veg pledge is part of the Food Foundation’s Peas Please initiative.

Edwina Hughes, CR director for Sodexo UK & Ireland adds, “Our Better Tomorrow roadmap sets out our commitments covering all impacts of the company’s business as it pursues its mission of ensuring a better quality of life for all. The roadmap addresses issues including waste and the health and wellbeing of those we serve. It is our aspiration to become the leading foodservice company in the plant forward movement and this initiative supports our efforts in this area.”

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