- Food waste fighting app Too Good To Go has this guidance for retailers
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1. Don’t ignore visually imperfect produce
An estimated 50 million tonnes of European farmed fruit and vegetables are wasted each year simply for being the wrong shape or size. To combat this, work with wholesalers and distributors who don’t cast aside ‘ugly’ produce to do your bit in creating a sustainable supply chain, such as Reynolds in Hertfordshire who offers an imperfect produce range.
2. Don’t rely on ‘best before’ dates
Each year, around 1.2 million tonnes of food is thrown away still in its packaging, often because it has passed its ‘best before’ date. If the date on the label of the produce has been passed, it does not necessarily mean that it is no longer good to eat. Make sure your staff understand the difference between ‘Use By’ and ‘Best Before’ and use your senses or clever tricks like the #GoodEggChallenge to determine if the produce is still safe to be cooked and consumed.
3. Don’t throw away surplus meals and produce
If we rescued all wasted food in the UK for a year, we would prevent 20 million tonnes of CO24. Working with food waste fighting apps like Too Good To Go can connect you with consumers who want to save your surplus meals and produce from being wasted - reducing disposal costs and recovering sunk costs.
4. Be creative with menus to maximise the produce you have
10 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year, and only one fifth of food wasted in the UK is truly unavoidable6. By creating nose to tail menus or menus specifically focused on using up left-over produce, retailers can maximise what produce they have at any given time.
5. Encourage customers to take home their leftovers
It costs UK businesses 97p to dispose of a plate of food. On top of this are the costs involved in everything that goes into making a meal; ingredients, labour time and energy. If customers are not able to finish the meals made for them, encourage them to take their leftovers home. Give guidance on how to store or reheat leftovers safely or even provide recipe suggestions.
Hayley Conick, UK MD of Too Good To Go, said, “In the UK, almost 3.5 million tonnes of food waste comes from the hospitality industry, something that impacts the bottom lines for businesses and has serious ramifications for our planet. Various commentators have raised warnings about the availability of certain foods after the UK has left the EU, yet there is no official guidance on what to expect. One thing that retailers can control is their food wastage levels, ensuring that the supply they do have is maximised.”
Originally published October 2019
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