The eternal fight against food waste – today with new means!
By Alexander Pabst and Daniel Stöcklin
A management approach to food waste? There are enormous amounts of resources in Food Waste, which makes the avoidable waste not only ecologically but also economically absurd. With Food Save Management, we have developed an effective approach to long-term reduction. Not only measurements play an important role in this.
Food waste is common, or normal, in foodservice kitchens for a variety of reasons. Trimmings, overproduction and leftovers are almost impossible to avoid, and since high-quality products are used, these are valuable resources that are wasted. In this is money, working time, natural resources such as soil, water and also energy. In 2018, the Bern University of Applied Sciences calculated in a study the full cost of a kilogram of food waste – 24 CHF each kilogram of food waste costs the business. And the Federal Office for the Environment also collects data on food waste in Switzerland.
If you make comparisons within an industry, you almost always see the same drivers for food waste. In most cases, with a few targeted actions, every company is able to achieve noticeable reductions relatively quickly. Combating food waste can therefore be described as simple, but not easy. The actions require sensitization as well as changes in awareness and processes, which must first be implemented. At the same time, the data basis for effective measures must exist in the first place, which is not the case for the majority of catering businesses. It is therefore important to proceed in a structured manner.
In order to respect these conditions and provide the restaurant industry with an effective solution in the fight against Food Waste, we have developed Food Save Management analogous to the Environmental Management approach. This approach recognizes food waste, or food, as an important and valuable resource for an operation that deserves efficient and careful handling.
Anchoring the topic of Food Save in the strategy is the first step towards initiating changes in one’s own company, and this primarily involves planning, resources and goal setting. Subsequently, monitoring and detailed measurements help to create an accurate database of the current situation, on which Food Save measures can be built. Through process adjustments and regular training of the gastronomic team, the Food Save mentality is finally anchored in the company culture in the long term.
This year, two major projects are taking place using the Food Save Management approach (Food Save Bernese Oberland and Food Save & Care 2021). Are you active in the Bernese Oberland or do you run a retirement and nursing home? Leave a comment or send us an e-mail!
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