Collaborating against tons of waste in food industry

Collaborating against tons of waste in food industry

Collaborating against tons of waste in food industry

Restaurants and the food service industry are responsible for generating three million tons of food waste every year. The aim of ‘United Against Waste’ is to create smarter solutions for food operators to reduce waste.

Eight out of 10 people (84%) across the world are worried about the levels of food waste generated in restaurants and eateries, according to findings from the World Menu Report: ‘Sustainable Kitchens – Reducing Food Waste’.

The report is based on findings of a BrainJuicer survey conducted amongst 4,000 global respondents who eat out at least once a week from eight countries: the U.S., the U.K., China, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Poland.

Results from the report highlighted that food waste in professional kitchens was high on the consumer agenda. Some 84% of those questioned stated that they were concerned with not only the amount of food wasted everyday in dining establishments, but also the way in which this waste was disposed of.
With the restaurant and food service industry responsible for generating three million tons of food waste every year, it is a significant issue that consumers are concerned about.

80% of those questioned in Western countries expressed concern about food waste when eating out-of-home, while 87% of respondents in non-Western countries echoed this concern.

Creating smarter solutions
A significant proportion (70%) of those in non-Western countries said that they would be willing to pay more for meals in places that were implementing environmentally-friendly food waste disposal methods.

Sergio Perelman, Global Director Packaging and Sustainability at Unilever Food Solutions, said: “Our aim is to create smarter solutions for our chefs and food operators to reduce food waste. Reducing food waste will also help them to save money within a continuingly tough economic climate. In Turkey we have been working with a key customer to help reduce food and energy waste when preparing stocks and soups by providing them with pre prepared Knorr bouillons. And in Sweden we developed a tool which allows schoolchildren to see just how much waste they create by leaving food on the plate – this led to a 30% reduction in food waste in the time we were working with them.”

The findings of the report also reveal that 48% of people believe it is the government’s role to address the issue of professional food waste.

Unilever Food Solutions will be taking a significant and ambitious first step towards helping chefs and operators reduce the amount of food waste by creating ‘United Against Waste’ coalitions across 74 countries worldwide. Uniting partners and consumers to “wise up on waste”, these coalitions will work together to find effective solutions to reducing food waste across the globe.

’United Against Waste’
Unilever Food Solutions works with chefs and operators, supporting them with professional ingredients and services. This is done in a socially and environmentally responsible way by: providing inspiration to create great tasting, natural, nutritious and healthy dishes; increasing the use of sustainably sourced agricultural raw materials in its products and helping to reduce food and packaging waste and energy use in the kitchen.

Gaby Vreeken, head of marketing, said: “There are clear benefits for operators: reduced food waste means a reduction in disposal costs, increased kitchen efficiency and, ultimately, a reduction in the foodservice’s carbon footprint. As an industry, we need to look at stock management, menu flexibility, portion sizes and many other elements involved in the journey from farm to fork in order to be able to begin tackling this problem.

“Actions speak louder than words, and we want to reassure consumers that together we can be ‘United Against Waste.’”