SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Food waste discussed during HORECA 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic

Gastronomy Forum at HORECA Trade Show 2017 Source: HORECA website
04 Jan 2018

Organised by the International Business Council and supported by the International Hotel and Restaurant Association, on the 28 to 29 November, a regional  exhibition was held to  showcase innovations and issues in the food sector. HORECA (Hotel, Restaurant and Catering) 2018  mobilised forces to address the problematic food waste issue persistent in the food sector. 

A panel discussion attended by FAO and around 40 Michelin star chefs, food and beverage directors, hotel and restaurant owners and general managers, food waste solutions such as awareness-raising were discussed.

During the food waste panel, FAO’s Robert Van Otterdijk, AgroIndustry Officer, explained that while specific actions such as intelligent packaging, improved policies on food donations and improved date marking are important, these actions still will not have the desired effect if the attitude towards wasting food does not change among retailers, food services and consumers. He also stressed that awareness raising, information dissemination and education were critical entry points to reduce food waste. 

Some attendees noted that their food waste reduction strategy primarily involved requiring the cooks in their restaurants have to weigh and record the food that they are discarding, and then they (the cooks) develop and implement ideas to reduce the waste. The cooks would then address the issue through procurement planning, meal preparation and serving as well as re-use possibilities. This model, it was noted, is compliant with the concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) which makes all workers responsible for the quality of their own work in the organisation.

The company Avery Dennison shared that it has developed a simple device which allows operators in the kitchen to record and print a date label (use-by) for all the meal ingredients that are to be utilized. Kitchen staff are also able to weigh and record which and how much of these ingredients are being discarded and for what reason.

 FAO is in dialogue with meeting attendees to support their activities to reduce food waste.