Guardians of Grub crusade launched to beat food waste

15 May 2019 by
Guardians of Grub crusade launched to beat food waste

WRAP has launched a new food waste reduction campaign ‘Guardians of Grub', launched at a government symposium to tackle the £3b of food thrown away at hospitality and foodservice outlets.

The Guardians of Grub campaign was developed by WRAP as part of its work to cut food waste from farm to fork and was unveiled at a special symposium organised by the government's food surplus and waste champion Ben Elliot, and attended by the secretary of state for the environment Michael Gove, and some of the UK's well-known restaurateurs and chefs.

The campaign is aimed at empowering professionals from across hospitality and the foodservice sector to reduce the amount of food thrown away in their establishments and about making simple, low-cost changes to the way food is bought, prepared and served.

The sector itself is responsible for 10% (one million tonnes) of the total 10.2 million 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 chief executive, added: "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."

The launch will be followed by a dedicated month of action in September 2019. Many of the UK's largest hospitality and foodservice representatives have already 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.

The Guardians of Grub campaign is supported by a dedicated microsite packed with free materials that businesses can use to tackle food waste, focusing on common triggers for waste in the kitchen and plate waste. Research by WRAP found that on average 21% of food waste arises from spoilage, 45% occurring in food preparation and 34% from consumer plates.

Waste Facts
• The total amount of waste, including food, packaging and other ‘non-food' waste, produced each year at hospitality and foodservice outlets is 2.87 million tonnes, of which 46% is recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) or composted.
• Of this, one million tonnes of food is wasted at outlets each year, 75% of which is avoidable and could have been eaten.
• On average 21% of food waste arises from spoilage; 45% from food preparation and 34% from consumer plates.
• 62% of packaging and other ‘non-food' waste is recycled. The highest level of recycling is for glass and cardboard.

More information can be requested from WRAP's Guardians of Grub team online

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