Bureau Veritas urges hospitality industry to tackle waste amid reopening

Bureau Veritas urges hospitality industry to tackle waste amid reopening

With Stop Food Waste Day just around the corner (28 April 2021), Bureau Veritas is reminding hospitality, catering and food businesses of the importance of minimising food waste as the industry opens back up following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

Currently, each year an estimated one third of all food produced ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices. This is equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes of produce worth around $1 trillion.1

In 2020, WRAP2 reported that while food waste in the UK significantly reduced during the first lockdown, levels of waste increased by 4% in June as restrictions were lifted. Bureau Veritas is now asserting that the food and hospitality industries must do their bit to negate a similar trend this time round.

George Macfie, Food Technical Manager at Bureau Veritas, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted issues around food waste, with frantic stockpiling by consumers in the early lockdown really bringing it to the fore. With the public now more aware about food waste than ever before, the onus is on hospitality venues to adopt a robust strategy in order to reverse the issue of surplus stock so that they can demonstrate and validate their efforts to reduce waste.

“With almost 40% of the hospitality industry in the UK now able to open for outdoor dining, and the remainder preparing to open on 17 May, it’s vital that waste streams are identified – from the produce itself to the secondary waste, such as packaging and water. It’s also important to factor in frozen food or dried goods, which may have been in storage since restaurants were last open in December 2020 – or even earlier for those who experienced regional restrictions. A high level of food and materials could have to be thrown away as a result.”

Launched in 2018, Stop Food Waste Day seeks to raise awareness of food waste, tackling worldwide hunger and poverty, climate change and sustainability, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This includes to halve global food waste at retail and consumer levels by 2030.

Macfie continues: “Food waste is an all-year-round issue, but it’s important on awareness days like Stop Food Waste Day, for businesses to take stock of their waste management procedures to assess whether they are taking a best practice approach. Successful waste management relies on a holistic approach, which includes effective monitoring of incoming goods, shelf life and unused produce, along with accurate waste reporting with trend monitoring. Implementing measures to mitigate waste at all stages of the supply chain – from production and distribution, to consumption and disposal – is integral to waste management. Of course, this does mean extra pressure for the hospitality industry, but at a time where many businesses are keeping a close eye on their finances, identifying waste streams and levels of waste within the business will see long-term benefit, with thrown away food ultimately equating to a loss of money.”

For businesses who aren’t sure where to start with implementing a robust food waste strategy, expert consultancies like Bureau Veritas have a vast knowledge and experience in supporting those in the hospitality industry, by providing assessments of existing procedures and offer relevant recommendations to ensure the very best in food waste policy. Bureau Veritas also offers an online integrated solution which allows businesses to capture and store data relating to food waste management and waste streams.

For further information, call 0345 600 1828 or visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk.

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