A new industry campaign has launched today to tackle nearly £3 billion 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 ambitious 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.
Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot, “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.”
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 ten per cent (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 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.”
Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Sustainable Restaurant Association Development director said: “Food is such a precious commodity and everyone working in foodservice should value their role as Guardians of Grub. We wholeheartedly back WRAP’s campaign to engage professionals, across all roles in a concerted bid to reduce food waste. The SRA will be providing hands-on, tailored and practical support and advice to businesses to enable them to achieve the super-heroic targets worthy of the Guardians of Grub title.”
Kate Nicholls, CEO UKHospitality added: “Food waste is a serious issue and one that consumers and businesses increasingly feel passionate about. UKHospitality, our members and the wider hospitality industry also take the issue seriously and we want to make sure we capitalise on our efforts to significantly cut down the amount of food we throw away. Guardians of Grub is a fantastic campaign and we are urging everyone in hospitality to get behind the campaign and help reduce the 1 million tonnes of food the sector currently wastes per year.”