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How to reduce food waste in the hospitality sector? Hands-on guidelines by HOTREC

Reducing food waste is one of the hot topics and a challenge for the EU. METRO participates in the discussion and is part of a network that searches for joint solutions. A brochure with guidelines to reduce food waste and recommendations to manage food donations for the hospitality sector is now available.

The numbers concerning food waste are alarming: Every year one third of the food produced worldwide is thrown away while one fourth of it would be enough to end world hunger. In the EU an amount of estimated 88 million tons of food are wasted, this means 20% of EU-produced food is wasted or lost. At the same time at least 55 million people are struggling to feed themselves.

In September 2015 the EU Member States committed in the United Nations General Assembly to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030. This commitment is part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Wasted or lost food was produced with resources like soil, water or electricity and some of these resources are limited. Food waste reduction is a challenge for the entire food chain. One part of the food chain besides producers or retailers is the hospitality industry. Although being a small waster, the hospitality industry started an initiative together with strong partners:

To directly address the challenge of food waste reduction HOTREC, the European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA) and METRO AG teamed-up through signing the Framework Agreement for a Cooperation between FEBA, HOTREC and METRO. They agreed to share their expertise and best-practices on the reduction of food waste and on food donations.

All parts of the food chain have a responsibility to reduce food waste including farmers, processors, retailers, the hospitality sector and consumers as well as other actors have to make their contribution.

METRO is taking its responsibility as a wholesale retailer and as a natural ally to the hospitality industry with its small and medium-sized enterprises.

Now HOTREC, the European association of the hospitality sector METRO is closely cooperating with in Brussels on EU issues, has developed a brochure Hospitality industry guidelines to reduce food waste and recommendations to manage food donations.

In cooperation with HOTREC’s network of 43 national hospitality associations in Europe guidelines for hospitality establishments to reduce food waste were created. The result is a set of easy to follow tips and recommendations that help to reduce food waste in hospitality establishments of any size. For the businesses any avoided waste is a saving of financial cost, and contributes to the goal of making hospitality business more sustainable.

The brochure contains further well selected information on the topic food waste in hospitality. More importantly it includes helpful and simple tips and recommendations for food waste reduction in the hospitality as well as a set of Do’s and Don’ts when managing food donations. A variety of best-practices by HOTREC members give’s an insight in the concrete actions of hospitality businesses that worked well.

While trying to reduce food waste and increase food donations the top priority for everybody involved must be food safety.

On Tuesday 31 January 2017 Maria Heider, Director EU Affairs at METRO GROUP is speaking at the MEP breakfast event on food waste reduction in the hospitality sector hosted by MEP Biljana Borzan and HOTREC.

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Picture source: Flickr Creative Commons - Foto by U.S. Departement of Agriculture