Sustainability on the menu for hospitality big hitters

The future of sustainability in hospitality was on the table for discussion this week, as heavyweights from across the sector came together to debate some of the most pressing sustainability issues facing the industry today.

Hosted by Steve Malkin, CEO of The Planet Mark, and featuring notable speakers and panelists (including Peter Worsey, food and drink sector specialist from WRAP, Dan Parker from the Jamie Oliver Sugar Smart campaign and Julie Barker, director of accommodation & hospitality at the University of Brighton), the plate2planet Live summit marked the first anniversary of plate2planet.co.uk, the collaborative website for discussion and ideas on sustainability in foodservice.

plate2planet is powered by Bidvest Foodservice, one of 13 members of the site drawn from across the foodservice and hospitality industry including: WRAP, the SRA, The Planet Mark, Nestlé Professional, Unilever and Premier Foods amongst others.

One in six hospitality meals ‘wasted’
Food waste was among the topics in the spotlight, with Peter Worsey, food & drink sector specialist at WRAP, highlighting the cost of food waste to the industry:

“There’s no doubt that food waste is one of the most pressing sustainably issues in our industry today. The cost of food waste to the UK hospitality industry is 2.5 billion – this is equivalent to 1.3 billion meals or one in six meals served,” he said, adding:“In my opinion, the future is about collaboration and cooperation. Through industry initiatives such as the Courtauld 2025 Commitment, which spans the whole food and drink sector, we’re making small steps towards progress, but more can be done, and working together we have an opportunity to effect real change.”

Not stopping there, the summit tackled the controversial issue of sugar reduction and childhood obesity, with the panel of experts highlighting sugar labelling as an opportunity for the foodservice sector to embrace. Andy Jones, former chair of the Hospital Caterers Association and chair of the PS100, said: “It’s all about working together. Let’s not forget that some sugars are natural, we need to go on a journey to wean people off the bad sugar – education and simple, clear messages are the way forwards.

“There is an opportunity for the sector to own sugar labelling using easy-to-understand icons, such as heaped teaspoons, to demonstrate sugar levels on both customer facing packs and products which go into kitchens, educating chefs and consumers alike.”

Collaborating for change
Collaboration was a message reinforced at the summit by Shirley Duncalf, head of sustainability at Bidvest Foodservice.

She said: “Collaboration is absolutely fundamental to what we do today and for the future. It’s about the industry working together to achieve a sustainable future for hospitality. We, together, have a vital role to play in leading the sustainable agenda across the whole industry. From food waste, which costs the sector £720m per year, to lowering sugar levels and ensuring a sustainable supply chain, collaboration and communication is what we need to do today for the future generation.

“Through plate2planet, we wanted to provide a platform for sustainability across the industry – a place to spearhead dialogue and make positive changes within foodservice. The expansion and popularity of the website over the past year is phenomenal and the plate2planet Live summit is testament to its success. Things are changing, and as an industry we have an opportunity to make a big difference.”

Read through the issues raised at the summit on Twitter using #p2pLive2016. The panel debates from the Summit can also be re-watched on the Bidvest Foodservice Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BidvestFoodUK/

For more information about plate2planet Live, please visit: http://www.plate2planet.co.uk/. You can also register to plate2planet and become a member, to share and receive inspiration, ideas, best practice tips and your own experiences on your sustainability journey in foodservice.

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