WE'VE SEEN a real shift in awareness across industry – deeper understanding of what ends up in our bins and the impact this has. Businesses can now assess the financial impact of the food being thrown away, with the cost per outlet estimated at £10,000 and the over annual food waste figure at £2.5bn and rising. Add to this a greater understanding of the types of food being thrown away (for example over 40% is carbohydrates - potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, etc), and businesses can really equip themselves to take action on waste.
A great example of how food waste has moved up the agenda is that a recent edition of the TV programme Masterchef saw the finalists creating dishes using only kitchen scraps such as bones, vegetable peelings and stale bread.
Where will the emphasis will be in 2014?
Three main areas:
- More interest from individual outlets in monitoring and measuring their food waste to understand the impacts of food waste on their business;
- Working in collaboration to deliver change across the sector. The great interest that business has shown in joining the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement proves that there is a real appetite in the sector to take action – both by working together and with their supply chain; and
- Meeting the requirements of the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations that come into force 1st January 2014, and ensuring that business is aware of the support available under the Resource Efficient Scotland programme.
Predictions for 2014:
We will start to see tangible delivery of change and reductions in food waste, as well as demonstrable cost savings.