More Scottish food please, Bidvest sustainability update, Hospitality delivers 10% of GDP, Keep big portions out of reach, Tea certification failures....
NFUS challenges foodservice
Scotland’s farming union will approach foodservice and catering companies asking them to spell out their commitments to Scottish agriculture. The move follows Brakes’ announcement that it intends to double the amount of food it buys from Scottish suppliers to £150m (though the timeframe isn’t clear). Environment secretary Richard Lochhead also met with caterers this week to urge them to follow this lead.
How to report on sustainability can be a headache. And whilst Bidvest’s just-published 2014-15 update isn’t much to look at, it is easy to follow. Progress towards the procurement commitments is all on one table (page 8). Packaging targets have been met already and the 70% recycling rate (part of Wrap’s HaFSA agreement) are in sight. Food waste progress is more difficult to discern. But the company isn’t far off ensuring 50% of all its own-brand range meet the government’s 2017 salt targets. Hitting 100% RSPO certified palm oil by the end of this year will be a little harder it seems – by the end of June the figure was 55%.
New employment stats
Hospitality is now Britain’s fourth largest industry, supporting 14% of total employment and delivering £143 billion to the country’s economy (10% of GDP). The new Oxford Economics study, commissioned by the BHA, also highlights how the sector has created one in five of all news jobs since 2010. However, the researchers also found concerning trends in terms of productivity and calculated that the average wage in the sector stands at £210 – half the UK average. A new study by the Resolution Foundation suggested that the living wage will see wages increase more in hospitality and foodservice than any other industry.
Obesity is rarely out of the newspapers these days and portion sizes was the topic of interest this week. It stemmed from a study by researchers at Cambridge University showing that “people consistently consume more food and drink when offered larger-sized portions, packages or tableware than when offered smaller-sized versions”. That might seem obvious, but it’s a complex picture according one of the authors Gareth Hollands. “Our findings highlight the important role of environmental influences on food consumption.” Solutions include smaller crockery and cutlery as well as putting larger portions out of reach.
And in case you missed these…
BSI published details of the much-anticipated revisions to the environmental management standard ISO14001. More details in next month’s Footprint.
BBC’s File on Four exposed some rather shocking practices in India’s tea plantations. Unilever, Taylor’s of Harrogate, Twinings and Tata were among the companies challenged. The Rainforest Alliance also came in for criticism as a marketing scheme rather than a movement to empower workers.
Three quarters of restaurant owners are apparently struggling to understand how to reduce energy or consider sustainability when making business decisions.
New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has selected Kerry McCarthy to take on the food, farming and environment brief in his shadow cabinet. Her statement is available here. She’s already managed to push a food waste bill through to a second reading in January.