A new campaign is set to tackle the nearly £3bn worth of food that is wasted every year across the entire hospitality and food service sector, of which 75% could have been eaten.
The Guardians of Grub campaign was developed by WRAP as part of its work to cut food waste from farm to fork. The striking new campaign was unveiled at a special symposium organised by the Government’s food surplus and waste champion Ben Elliot, and attended by senior business figures, the Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove, and some of the UK’s most well-known restaurateurs and chefs.
The Guardians of Grub campaign is aimed at empowering professionals from across the hospitality and food service sector to reduce the amount of food thrown away in their establishments. The campaign is aimed at everyone from Michelin star restaurants to local pubs and wherever food is served to order. It is about making simple, low-cost changes to the way food is bought, prepared and served that have waste reduction in mind.
Ben Elliot commented: “This campaign brilliantly shines a light on the food waste epidemic. Initiatives like this provide a strong foundation for change. Less conversation, more action. We are all in this together. It’s time to stand tall and work towards a waste-less future.”
A suite of free materials has been produced for the Guardians of Grub, using the latest behavioural change strategies to inform best practice that can easily be incorporated into any business, by anyone. These include information posters and how-to guides, and a free calculator to record the changes being made.
The launch will be followed by a dedicated month of action in September when the hospitality and food service sector will come together to Stand up for Food. Already many of the UK’s largest hospitality and food service representatives have pledged their support to the initiative, including the BBPA (British Beer and Pub Association), the FWD (Federation of Wholesale Distributors), the SRA (Sustainable Restaurant Association) and UKHospitality.
Guardians of Grub has been developed to inspire action at every level of the hospitality and food service profession; from kitchen porter to business owner and across preparation and service. The theme of guardians helps stress the enormous environmental impact wasted food has on the planet, and makes the point that everyone has the power to defeat waste within their work.
The sector itself is responsible for 10% (1m tonnes) of the total 10.2m tonnes of food wasted in the UK each year, with the cost of avoidable food waste varying between 38p and £1 for every meal it serves. Previous research by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and WRAP across 700 companies operating in 17 countries found a high return on investment for activities implemented to reduce food waste. The average business saving, across multiple sectors, was shown to be more than £14 for every £1 invested by a business into reducing food loss and waste.
Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO, said: “We will not tackle the impact of global warming if we don’t fix the food system, and everyone needs to play their part. If everyone in the hospitality and food service industry put as much passion into reducing waste as they do into creating delicious food, it would make a massive difference to cutting the damage food waste is doing to our planet. Through this great new campaign, we are showing how everyone can reduce food waste without compromising on quality, or customer experience, and save money. It’s a double win; for the environment and for business.”