“Cut Meat, Plastic And Waste” As Part Of The Tastiest Challenge On The Planet

The UK foodservice industry needs to do more to support the environment, according to a report issued by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).

The report says; “Every foodservice business needs to accept our challenge to implement and achieve the targets outlined in The Tastiest Challenge on the Planet report: to reduce the impact of the meals they serve by reducing the volume of meat on the menu, food in the bin and single-use plastic and packaging in their operation.”

Since 2010 the SRA has been working with the foodservice industry to make it more environmentally sustainable. Presently there are 7,500 businesses in the UK working with the SRA taking steps towards sustainability.

SRA chief executive Andrew Stephen said: “The message is clear. Unless we fix food, we can’t fix climate change.”

The report found that UK businesses need to cut down on the amount of meat that is produced and consumed as meat and dairy production accounts for 60% of farming’s greenhouse gas emissions and 16.5% of total global emissions.

The report states that a third of food produced globally is wasted and it states that one million tonnes of food a year is wasted across the UK foodservice sector, with only 50% of SRA members having plans in place to tackle food waste within their business.

The report states that consumers in the UK use 4.7bn plastic straws, 316m plastic stirrers, 7.7bn plastic bottles and 2.5bn coffee cups a year. It states that only half of plastic bottles and less than 1% of coffee cups are recycled. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicted by 2050 there will be more plastic than marine life in the ocean.

Leon founder and DEFRA non-executive board member Henry Dimbleby said: “UK restaurants alone use a tiny amount of global resources, but their ability to make the weather and influence how people feel about sustainability and food is massive. And what we do, others in the world will follow.”

Raymond Blanc SRA president said: “Thousands of chefs in all types of restaurants and food outlets, from the Michelin-starred ones to fish and chip shops, are among those working with The SRA, demonstrating that good food can be produced sustainably no matter the style of venue.”