AUTHOR: LOUISA DODD
- Globally, a third of all food produced ends up being wasted. In the UK, 10% of food waste comes from hospitality, equating to around one million tonnes per year.
- When food waste decomposes in landfill, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Regardless of volume, all food disposed of in general waste contributes to the issue.
- Earlier in the supply chain, land, water, energy, labour, amongst other resources, are indirectly wasted if food is not consumed. Take land use; the amount of land used to produce food that ends up being wasted would be second in size if a country, only behind Russia.
- Food waste is even more distasteful when considering the 821million people currently suffering from world hunger daily. If we diverted the approximate annual 40 million tonnes of food wasted by the USA alone each year, this would be enough to satisfy the global calorie deficit. Working with redistribution organisations to relocate surplus food can play a significant role in fulfilling this gap.
- The network of food redistribution organisations in the UK is thriving. There are now many different solutions available to foodservice businesses looking to find a home when food surplus occurs. Now is the time to find a suitable partner to help redistribute.
- Food waste is an expensive issue, as businesses dispose of potentially consumable produce, and spend money disposing this waste. UK food businesses throw around £2.5bn worth of food away each year, the equivalent of 1 in 6 meals in foodservice kitchens.
- The Food Waste Hierarchy illustrates how we should approach and prioritise our food waste initiatives; highlighting prevention as key to reduction, and landfill disposal as an absolute no-go.
- The UK government has demonstrated their intent to tackle this issue head on, with the appointment of Food Waste Champion, Ben Elliot. This has been followed by a recent pledge announced by Michael Gove asking food operators to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.
- The Sustainable Restaurant Association launched the Food Waste: Bad Taste campaign in May 2019. This online programme guides restaurants through a six week process of measuring, target setting, and crucially, reducing their food waste. Whether one site or a large chain, you can get involved. For more information about how you and your business can benefit from Food Waste: Bad Taste click here.