Sustainable Restaurant Association backs House of Lords’ committee’s call for urgent Europe-wide action to reduce food waste

SRA welcomes House of Lords report on food waste and calls on hospitality sector to lead the way, reducing food waste - the most important sustainability issue for UK diners.

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Restaurant kitchen staff measuring food waste as part of FoodSave programme

“Food waste is the most important sustainability issue for diners as they understand the economic, social and environmental impact," Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association

London (PRWEB UK) 6 April 2014

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) today (6 April) welcomed the House of Lords European Union Committee’s urgent calls to action to the UK Government and European Commission to reduce food waste.

The committee, which took evidence last year from organisations (including the SRA) and experts representing all links in the food supply chain, criticised the Commission for its failure to have “a clear and urgent strategic direction ... to reduce and prevent food waste”.

The UK Government should assess ways to further promote the redistribution of food to humans by way of fiscal measures, the committee chaired by Baroness Scott also recommended.

The committee addressed food waste from farm to fork in its report Counting the Cost of Food Waste: EU Food Waste Prevention, and called on the Government to clarify urgently what food waste from the retail and food service sector can be fed to animals, a step proposed by The Pig Idea and supported by the SRA.

Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, said while the hospitality and food service sector had started to address the near one million tonne issue which costs the industry £2.5 billion a year, it needed to do more.

Responding to the House of Lords report, he said: “The House of Lords European Union Committee has correctly identified food waste as a serious cost to society and we applaud its appeals to the Commission and the UK Government to act and act fast to address this issue.

“The committee rightly identifies that the complexity of defining food waste and the lack of sufficient data should not be barriers to action. The SRA, through programmes like FoodSave, which it is running for the Mayor of London and the European Regional Development Fund, is trying to address the shortage of data, measuring restaurants’ food waste and helping them find ways to reduce it, as well as dispose of it responsibly.

“Food waste is the most important sustainability issue for diners as they understand the economic, social and environmental impact. We could not agree more strongly with the committee when it says that if the opportunity is not seized to drive action across the EU, Member States will count the costs.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors
The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) is a not for profit membership organisation helping restaurants become more sustainable and diners make more sustainable choices when dining out. We help our Members source food more sustainably, manage resources more efficiently and work more closely with their community. The SRA Sustainability Star Rating scheme means diners can find a restaurant that matches their sustainability priorities.

Foodsave is a London wide programme being run by the SRA for The Mayor of London, the European Regional Development Fund and the London Waste Recycling Board to help small and medium enterprises Divert over 1,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill, reduce over 150 tonnes of food-related waste and save businesses over £350,000 associated with waste reduction and disposal.

The House of Lords European Union Committee report Counting the Cost of Food Waste: EU Food Waste Prevention, was published today (6 April).


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