RESTAURANTS, PUBS and hotels are being encouraged to limit menu choices and introduce flexible portioning as part of a new global campaign to cut food waste.
Those in the hospitality sector should also consider introducing staff engagement programmes and food waste audits to help reduce their “foodprints”.
The “Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint” campaign, backed by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), is also reaching out to retailers and consumers.
The campaign website provides simple tips to consumers, retailers and those in hospitality. It will also allow users to make food waste pledges, and provides a platform for those running campaigns to exchange ideas and create a “truly global culture of sustainable consumption of food”.
“If we can help food producers to reduce losses through better harvesting, processing, storage, transport and marketing methods, and combine this with profound and lasting changes in the way people consume food, then we can have a healthier and hunger-free world,” said FAO director general José Graziano da Silva.
The launch comes a little over a week after a report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers concluded that up to two billion tonnes of all the food produced annually ends up as waste. The study said a number of factors are to blame, including inadequate infrastructure and storage facilities, overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free offers and consumers demanding cosmetically perfect food.
According to the FAO, roughly 95% of food loss and waste in developing countries are unintentional losses at early stages of the food supply chain. However, in the developed world the end of the chain is far more significant.
According to WRAP, the average UK family could save £680 per year and the UK hospitality sector could save £724 million per year by tackling food waste. Last year a new voluntary scheme was launched to help the sector cut food waste and save money.