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Hospitality sector achieves waste prevention target

Food waste segregation 2000

Businesses involved in the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement (HaFSA) have hit their collective waste prevention target but fallen short on efforts to increase the overall rate for recycling and material sent to anaerobic digestion or for composting.

A final report on the WRAP-led voluntary agreement, which was developed on behalf of UK governments, indicated that signatories saved an estimated £67m during the three-year period from 2012-15.

There were two targets under the HaFSA:

  • Reduce food and associated packaging waste arising by 5% by the end of 2015 (against a 2012 baseline and measured by CO2e emissions saved)
  • Increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste recycled and sent to anaerobic digestion or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015

The first goal was achieved by some margin, with food and packaging waste reduced by 11% against the 5% target.

WRAP said prevention activities saved an estimated 24,000 tonnes of food from being thrown away over the three years, equivalent to 48 million meals with a value of £67m. Redistribution of surplus food doubled during the agreement to 760 tonnes, equivalent to 1.5 million meals.

The second HaFSA target was 70% but only 56% was achieved.

WRAP says a contributing factor to missing this “ambitious target” was the time required to implement new contracts and incorporate food waste collections.

Steve Creed, director of WRAP business programmes, said: “The hospitality sector has taken huge strides implementing measures to prevent food waste and realised individual and sector-wide benefits. While it is disappointing not to have met the waste management target in full, big improvements have been made.

“The HaFSA has proven to be a catalyst for industry, providing the motivation and inspiration to help big changes happen in the way the sector does business, and saving it money at the same time.

”The next step is to build on this good work with Courtauld 2025, and have more businesses working in collaboration to make resource efficiency central to how our supply chain operates, from farm to fork.”

The 10-year Courtauld Commitment 2025 aims to cut waste and greenhouse gas emissions associated with food and drink in the UK by at least one-fifth per capita.

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