For us this booklet has enormous significance. It allows us to restate our objectives and holds us to account for what has actually been achieved through the Footprint Awards. Our vision for this Souvenir Programme is for it to become a series of volumes in which progress in sustainability achievement in the foodservice industry is measured.
Our objectives remain very clear:
To recognise the many innovative ways that businesses and individuals are making a difference to sustainability in the foodservice industry, thereby creating a standard of excellence and a replicable benchmark for the whole supply chain to strive towards
To provide the industry with a platform to showcase values and approach to sustainability in a genuine environment
To raise awareness in the mainstream of the progress being made in foodservice towards a more sustainable future
To attract new talent into sustainability in foodservice from the growing number of students studying sustainability and the environment in further education
The by-product of this is tonight, an evening for senior management and executives to get together and share their success in a noncompetitive environment. This year we have delivered on all of our objectives and will continue to build on this success.
Last years consensus was that the 100 plus entries we achieved was an extraordinary number, considering it was our first year. This year we have surpassed 150 entries, manifest to how seriously the issue of sustainability is taken and how much activity there is throughout the supply chain. The amount of activity is growing despite increasing economic hardship. The only thing that can be concluded from this is that sustainability makes economic sense.
Last year we set a precedent and gave the foodservice supply chain a standard to work towards. We had entries from brands able to make a big difference as well as entries from smaller operations that are making a smaller, Footprint Forward yet most significant, contribution. It all counts and is making our industry more sustainable and an example to many other sectors. We have raised awareness of the foodservice industrys achievements. Be that through press coverage (both trade and consumer), our own ongoing innovation, Footprints work with government, the Footprint Post Graduate Placement Programme (FPGPP) and endless endeavour to promote genuine effort to be sustainable throughout the supply chain.
Our post graduate programme is in its infancy, but increasingly gaining momentum with an ever-growing number of companies showing an interest in taking on an environmental sustainability post graduate. The purpose is to channel talent into foodservice (most will not have even heard of this industry per se). We are plugging gaps in knowledge by sharing intelligence, whilst improving the pool of data available to us on this highly complex subject.
We do also, unashamedly, take pride in the value Footprint Awards offers participants. The Footprints have created a standard to work towards and a platform to communicate achievements. Simply put, Footprint Awards has created a community of excellence. The RSA Accreditation, received last year, allows us to represent the industry on a pan-European level. As the Footprint Awards is an annual cycle rather than a one off event, it gives those businesses closely engaged, something to talk to the market about all year long.
Our thanks has to go to our Headline Sponsor Nestle Professional and all of our Category sponsors, without whom this process would simply not be possible. Our gratitude goes to all of those businesses that entered and are making a difference. You know who you are, and you are the vanguard. If you truly believe in it, continue the momentum!