SRA starts fight to reduce food waste

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Action plan: the Sustainable Restaurant Association wants to reduce food waste through its six-week programme
Action plan: the Sustainable Restaurant Association wants to reduce food waste through its six-week programme

Related tags: Food, Waste, Sustainability

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has launched an online programme to spur pubs to reduce food waste.

A six-week programme will guide 100 food businesses in measuring how much food they waste and developing more sustainable practices.

The scheme – Food Waste: Bad Taste – is part of a Government-backed endeavour to meet the UN’s sustainable development goal to halve food waste by 2030.

Ben Elliot, the Government’s ‘food surplus and waste champion’, put his support behind the initiative, describing the scale of food waste as “nothing short of a national disgrace”.

Pubs waste 173,000 tonnes of food every year, with surplus foods like potatoes and salads the foods most likely to be thrown away, according to research from the SRA.

The annual cost of this totals about £20,000 per site and the equivalent of one in every six meals.

Recipe for success

Elliot said: “That’s why I am delighted to be helping the SRA launch Food Waste: Bad Taste, a practical programme aimed squarely at helping foodservice make marked, measurable inroads into their food waste.

“I would urge every single business serving food to the public to grab this opportunity to turn a scandal into a recipe for success.”

The first set of businesses will begin the programme in June.

Half of the SRA’s members do not have reduction targets, according to its insight report The Tastiest Challenge on the Planet​.

Call to action

SRA development director Juliane Caillouette-Noble said attention should be shifted to how businesses can take action on the issue.

She said: “No one needs reminding of the scandalous scale of food waste. What’s important is that we, as an industry, stand up and mean it when we say food is too good to waste.

“That’s why we’ve canvassed opinion from across a range of operators, drawn on our experience of running the successful FoodSave programme and created Food Waste: Bad Taste – a programme we think can have real impact because it recognises the challenges and makes change practicable.

"We would urge every restaurant and foodservice business to act now, starting by measuring and targeting their food waste.”

Operators can sign up for the scheme or find out more about how to start tackling their food waste on the SRA website.

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