Food Waste Initiative Brings Great Success Across Hospitality Businesses In Wales

The food waste reduction campaign ‘Your Business is Food, don’t throw it away’ has proven successful in informing target businesses on how best to combat food waste, following the implementation of a pilot scheme run by hospitality industry leaders, the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and food sustainability experts WRAP Cymru.

In partnership with WRAP Cymru, the BHA conducted a pilot at seven restaurants and hotel businesses across Wales from Llandudno to Tenby, to increase resource efficiency in the food and drink sector by using the Your Business is Food tools and resources to ultimately help businesses reduce food waste from kitchen through to plate and increase profits.

In conjunction with ‘Your Business is Food Week of Action’ – which aims to raise awareness among businesses about how to reduce food waste – BHA and WRAP Cymru are launching an accompanying new video which features businesses using Your Business is Food tools and resources and explaining how beneficial they found using them.

All the businesses in the pilot, including those which already had sophisticated food waste reduction strategies in place, were able to see how much food waste they produced and find out the source and cost of this. The pilot found that the main source of waste were leftovers on the plate, caused by excessive portion sizes and unwanted extras.

Hugh Jones, Programme Area Manager, WRAP Cymru, said:

“Tackling food waste within a business has real returns on the bottom line, and usually requires simple refining of existing working practices to have results. The Hospitality & Food Service Agreement, which operated between 2012 and 2015, showed how simple measuring and monitoring tactics for food waste helped businesses see the scale of the problem within their own operations, and pinpoint where action was required. Taking action helped those businesses involved in the Agreement save an estimated £67 million cumulatively, over three years. So, I’m delighted that the new Your Business is Food resources; which are based on the work of the HaFS agreement, have been so warmly welcomed during this trial, and to see that they are having similar positive results for these businesses.”

Speaking about the project, Dr Lisa Ackerley, Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner and BHA Food Safety Adviser, said:

“In the UK, an estimated £2.5bn of food is wasted each year in the hospitality industry and the British Hospitality Industry is leading the way in helping to change this. While businesses already implement great initiatives to combat food waste, campaigns such as ‘Your Business Is Food, don’t throw it away’ is an extra aid to help businesses take this further and be more efficient without compromising food safety.”

Also commenting, David Chapman, BHA’s Executive Director for Wales, said:

“Businesses in the BHA pilot were all very keen to see what more they could be doing to reduce their food waste. Good new practices on food preparation and food spoilage prevention were shared and work on better matching portion sizes to customer needs has started, but there is still a lot more we can do to begin to change consumer habits here.

“Businesses in the pilot felt the applied practices were very useful and helped to save money; and all were pleased they could further help the environment by sending less food to landfill.”