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Business achieves major savings from monitoring food waste

A WRAP study has found that businesses could save thousands of pounds by monitoring their food waste.

The study, in collaboration with corporate catering provider Sodexo, recorded waste at six sites in UK and Ireland over a period of eight weeks.

Sodexo used manual assessment and smart meter technology to measure the quantity of food wasted. Three sites followed the manual approach and three had meters.

The weight saved was an average 22% for the manual sites and 16% at the technology based sites, an overall total of 12 tonnes per year, and an extrapolated annual saving of £25,000.

For the manual monitoring (above), three food waste containers were installed at each site to separate plate and preparation waste as well as expired or spoiled goods.

Staff weighed the containers at the end of each meal and recorded weights for each bin category.

The smart meter approach used a LeanPath tool in conjunction with an Android tablet to automatically record the weight of wasted food in each bin.

Sodexo said those involved in the trial cut waste by:

  • cooking smaller batches more frequently
  • keeping tighter control on portions sizes
  • preventing preparing too many vegetables for meals
  • improving the use of leftovers

The report concluded that businesses needed to engage with their staff to promote greater awareness of the issue and to ensure efficient planning of food usage.

Paul Bracegirdle, Sodexo environmental manager, said: “This project has helped highlight the benefits of food waste tracking but also the challenges.

“Having this level of information on the two monitoring approaches will certainly aid better decision making and enhance advice provided to Sodexo sites on the best route to take in addressing food waste”.

  • Last week, the charity Fareshare announced a collaboration with Tesco to pilot a scheme to send unsold food to charities.

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