WASTE NOT, WANT NOT - BUSINESSES ENCOURAGED TO ADDRESS EXCESS ON WORLD FOOD DAY
Oct. 14 2020
With World Food Day just around the corner, Bureau Veritas has taken the opportunity to remind the hospitality and food sector of the ever-mounting importance of getting their food waste measures under control.
As one of the most celebrated days on the United Nations calendar, World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16 October in honour of the founding of its Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945. The important international day promotes global awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger, and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.
Importantly, this year’s event falls at a time when the issue of food wastage has, perhaps, never been more pertinent. According to UK government agency WRAP, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a new-found consumer awareness about the importance of food security with 84% agreeing that food waste is an important national issue and 90% believing we all have a responsibility to minimise the food we throw away.1
At the same time, the hospitality sector has had to rethink its approach to food supply – with the overnight lockdown leaving the sector with millions of pounds worth of stock to dispose of before going out of date. Tellingly, according to WRAP’s latest figures, this has sparked a greater sector leaning towards improved food wastage measures – with 60 leading names having signed up to the Food Wastage Roadmap in the last year alone – bringing the overall current total to 213 businesses with a combined turnover of £250bn.2
The result is a growing onus on food businesses to pay due diligence to their food waste mitigation measures – a trend which, according to Bureau Veritas, is only going to grow as the pandemic continues to put the issue of food security firmly up the public agenda.
Tracy Wain, Food Safety Technical Manager at Bureau Veritas comments: “There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has brought the worldwide issue of food wastage more widely into the public domain. Indeed, following the initial urge to stockpile supermarket goods, it would seem that it has made consumers much more aware of the importance of food security and the role they can play in lessening wastage. In turn, in the commercial world it’s coerced a shift to a much more robust, leaner approach to the supply chain in order to negate the issue of surplus stock and food wastage.”
“Thus, with food wastage clearly under the magnifying glass it has never been a greater time for food businesses to invest in a holistic, robust food wastage strategy so that they can demonstrate and validate their efforts to reduce food waste.”
As part of its Sustainable Development Goals, the UN aims to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses, by 2030.
Tracey adds: “Effective food management relies on a holistic approach, one which includes accurate monitoring, reporting and according measures to mitigate waste at all stages of the supply chain – from production through to consumption, distribution and even disposal. Of course, this does mean extra pressure for the sector amid what remains a challenging time, however, with the mounting issue of food wastage under the spotlight more than ever before, it’s important to ensure they review and adjust their approach sooner rather than later.”.
“As always, if in doubt, we’d recommend they call on an expert consultancy, such as the team at Bureau Veritas, which can provide a robust assessment and relevant recommendations to ensure absolute best class in food wastage policy.”