Undertaking to reduce food waste is on the menu for Irish foodservice businesses this year. As part of the Savour Food Programme, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, a new e-tool for foodservice businesses has been launched.
It is estimated that every year the Irish food sector wastes 150,000 tonnes of food.
The main sources of food waste in the Irish foodservice sector are plate waste (38%), preparation waste (35%) and unserved food waste (27%).
A proportion of ‘unavoidable’ food waste comes from peelings and off-cuts. On average, this waste accounts for just 25% of food waste thrown away.
Food waste has been calculated to cost €2.73 - €3.50 per kilogram.
Savour Food is a food waste reduction programme for businesses and it aims to bring about sustained change in Irish businesses in terms of food waste prevention. Savour Food is now offering a free online facility where foodservice businesses can assess how much food waste might be costing and what they can do across the business to reduce it. The e-tool is free to use and can be found at savourfood.ie.
The user can (a) identify the true cost of food waste generated by their business (b) obtain a food waste benchmark which can be compared against national standards for good practice and (c) identify the cost saving that could be achieved by reducing food waste to good practice standards.
Savour Food Programme Manager, Keelin Tobin says “Chefs and staff in hospitality are so skilled. They are important stakeholders in the fight against food waste and that is why I am delighted that this online tool both showcases what is already being done in the sector, as well as providing a support for any foodservice business endeavouring to reduce food waste. It’s good for business and it’s good for our planet.”
The Savour Food programme provides a free service to food businesses that includes direct consultancy, food waste prevention training and advice on legal obligations in relation to food waste management. The Savour Food Programme is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. The programme is managed by the by the Clean Technology Centre, MTU Cork, and supported by stakeholders.