Foodservice told to slash food waste by 50%

The government has called on hospitality and foodservice businesses to halve their food waste by 2030, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. More businesses should also adopt the Wrap and IGD Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, which helps companies measure, report and reduce their food waste.

The new pledge, published ahead the “Step up the plate” symposium taking place next week, encourages businesses to set a food waste reduction target following the guidelines set out in the roadmap.

So far, 75 firms have signed up, including the following hospitality and foodservice (HaFS) firms: Accor Hotel Services; BaxterStorey; Bidfood; Brakes; Castell Howell Foods; Compass Group PLC; ISS UK; Nando’s UK & Ireland; OCS Group; Pizza Hut Restaurants; Sodexo.

The target is for 50% of the UK’s 250 largest food businesses to be measuring, reporting and acting on food waste by September 2019.

An action plan has been developed specifically for HaFS. The target is for all the sector’s largest firms (over 250 employees) to be measuring, reporting and taking action on food waste by 2026.

Other notable targets for HaFS businesses are for 100% of waste management companies to be providing actual food waste data by 2026; for public sector procurement to include food waste data as a mandatory requirement in contracts from 2022; and for all large HaFS businesses to be raising awareness of food waste with key suppliers by 2020.

Food waste costs the HaFS sector £2.9 billion each year, according to Wrap. And restaurants that invest in food waste reduction could see a 600% return on their investment, according to recent research published by theWorld Resources Institute (WRI) for the Champions 12.3 coalition. They found that for every US$1 restaurants invested to cut down on food waste, they saved on average US$7 in operating costs over a three-year period.

The government also announced that it has awarded more than £4 million to four redistribution organisations across England to help overcome barriers to getting food currently going to waste onto people’s plates.

Currently around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year. It is estimated a further 100,000 tonnes of food - equating to 250 million meals a year - is edible and readily available but goes uneaten. Instead, this food is currently sent away for generating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion, or animal feed.

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