Sustainable Restaurant Association and Mayor of London reducing London's restaurant food waste mountain

Restaurants, pubs & hotels are being invited to save thousands of pounds and massively cut the amount of food they waste, under a free scheme supported by the Mayor Boris Johnson. The FoodSave scheme, being run by The Sustainable Restaurant Association, has already helped 15 of the capital’s small food businesses save more than £100,000 a year and prevent a staggering 70 tonnes of food – the equivalent of 550 large loaves of bread – going to waste.

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The Imperial Chef Tom Hope with Mayor of London Environment Adviser Matt Pencharz

FoodSave is making very good progress towards its ultimate target to divert more than 1,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill, reduce over 150 tonnes of food waste and save businesses over £350,000.

(PRWEB UK) 30 May 2014

Restaurants, pubs & hotels are being invited to save thousands of pounds and massively cut the amount of food they waste, under a free scheme supported by the Mayor Boris Johnson. The Food Save scheme has already helped 15 of the capital’s small food businesses save more than £100,000 a year and prevent a staggering 70 tonnes of food – the equivalent of 550 large loaves of bread – going to waste.

One of the businesses, The Imperial, in south west London, is on track to save £10,000 and prevent almost one tonne of food waste a year by offering different portion sizes, measuring out sides in cups and using leftover food for their soup of the day and special menu items.

Research by WRAP indicates that more than 1.3 billion meals are wasted annually in UK’s hospitality and food service sector. FoodSave helps small businesses to stop throwing profits down the drain, with results from the first 15 businesses taking part showing average annual savings of over £6,000 in direct food costs and a reduction of 1.6 tonnes of actual food waste, equivalent to two dozen 180 litre bins. Two of the business are predicted to save over £10,000, with one expected to save a huge £24,000.

Due to this success, over 200 more small food businesses are invited to apply for the free scheme. The project is funded by the Mayor of London, European Regional Development Fund and London Waste and Recycling Board and being delivered by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and Sustain.

Today the Mayor’s Environment Adviser Matthew Pencharz visited The Imperial on Kings Road to see the waste reduction methods they have introduced. FoodSave is part of the Mayor’s wide ranging support for London’s food economy which aims to help make it healthier, more sustainable and more profitable.

Matthew Pencharz said: “With FoodSave cafes, pubs and restaurants are learning simple ways to reduce the amount of food they throw away and saving thousands of pounds in the process. The Mayor now wants hundreds more businesses to get on board this great free scheme and help us dramatically reduce food waste across the city.”

Kate MacWhirter, Director of The Imperial, said: “FoodSave has been an eye-opener and has really helped us identify precisely the areas where we were wasting food and enabled us to come up with solutions. We’ve changed the size of and ingredients for certain dishes and have created daily delicious specials with food that would historically have gone to waste. The amount we are saving is enough to help pay for another member of staff, which is fantastic.”

Victoria Moorhouse, Senior Operations Manager at the Sustainable Restaurant Association, said: “FoodSave is making very good progress towards its ultimate target to divert more than 1,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill, reduce over 150 tonnes of food waste and save businesses over £350,000.

“The power of what we are doing with FoodSave is measuring the impact that these interventions make to food waste and the resulting cost savings. By making staff aware of what they are throwing away and how this impacts the bottom line helps to shape behaviour change and this is the key to making change last. The lessons we learn will help us to drive down food waste across the UK hospitality sector, saving businesses money while also diverting waste from landfill.”

The Sustainable Restaurant Association team work with technology partner Winnow to run detailed food waste audits for restaurants, hotels, pubs, quick service restaurants and canteens to analyse the food waste being they produce. The Winnow system measures the real time weight and cost of food waste across different food waste types (spoilage, preparation and customer plate waste). The SRA then works with the catering teams to find ways of reducing food waste and tracking this over time.

WRAP estimates that the average annual cost of food waste for hospitality and food service outlets is £10,000 and that three quarters of food wasted in the sector could have been eaten.

Food Save works with small restaurants, canteens, hotels, pubs, quick-service food outlets, street-food vendors, food manufacturers, food retailers and wholesalers. For more information or to get involved, email foodsave(at)thesra(dot)org or call 020 7479 4224.
Ends

Notes to editors
1 For images of the Imperial’s ‘Food mountain’ email Rachelle(dot)laurence(at)london(dot)gov(dot)uk and to find out more about FoodSave including how to take part visit http://www.london.gov.uk/foodsave.
2 Small and medium sized London restaurants, hotels, pubs, quick service restaurants and canteens interested in taking part in FoodSave should contact the SRA - foodsave(at)thesra(dot)org or call 020 7479 4224 http://www.thesra.org. The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) is a national, not-for-profit membership organisation providing restaurants with expert sustainability advice through a team of specialist account managers. The SRA helps member restaurants source food more sustainably, manage resources more efficiently and work more closely with their communities. Members enjoy the economic benefits of greater sustainability and the SRA promotes their activities to consumers.
3 Small and medium sized food retailers, markets, food manufacturers, wholesalers, wholesale markets and food growers interested in taking part in FoodSave should contact FoodSave, contact Charlotte Jarman oncharlotte(at)sustainweb(dot)org or 020 7065 0902. http://www.sustainweb.org. Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.
4. WRAP figures from ‘Overview of Waste in the UK Hospitality and Food Service Sector’, WRAP, November 2013
5. The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), has a remit to improve waste management in the capital. For more information on LWARB visit http://www.lwarb.gov.uk.
6. The Mayor is working with the European Regional Development Fund and the London Waste Recycling Board to deliver the scheme and help 240 small and medium enterprises over the next 10 months. The FoodSave project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. For more information visit http://www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding.


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