Join the Great Taste – Zero Waste Manifesto!
Let us start a new era of gastronomy, which minimizes food waste and makes the best of all the produce. Let us avoid overstocking, to waste less, save money and find new resources to create a great taste!
Did you know that approximately a third of the world’s food is lost or wasted every year? This is nearly 1.3 billion tons of food, worth 2.6 trillion dollars per year – the source of 10% of the world's CO2 emissions (FAO, 2019). This is a colossal waste of resources – from water, land, and labor required to grow crops and raise livestock to energy used for transport and storage.
Today, even up to 26% of all food waste yearly comes from the food service sector (UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021). But here is the good news: being part of the problem means that you can become a part of the solution!
Let us join forces to tackle food waste in all types of professional kitchens! Whether you are just starting out or are ready to take your sustainability efforts to the next level, our Manifesto has you covered. Every step counts, even the small one! It is you who has the power to make a difference that goes beyond saving money. It is about rethinking the use of resources and reusing them, to create a profitable and valuable business in the food sector.
FAO. 2019. The State of Food and Agriculture 2019. Moving forward on food loss and waste reduction. Rome. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Zhongming, Z., Linong, L., Xiaona, Y., Wangqiang, Z., & Wei, L. (2021). UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021.
What is the GTZW manifesto?The Great Taste – Zero Waste Manifesto is a free guide on how to prevent and reduce food waste. It was designed to help you upgrade your professional practice and business. The potential of today’s waste is still untapped. It is high time we put our resources to work, to build value and create… great taste! The goal The main goal of The Manifesto is to create an open-source platform where chefs and gastronomy professionals can learn, draw inspiration, and share their best practices to fight against food waste. The Manifesto provides 10 main guidelines and a handful of practical tips for HoReCa professionals on how to fully leverage the limited resources and, at the same time, create food that tastes great. The Manifesto was created in collaboration with gastronomy professionals. Its guidelines and tips were based on the knowledge and experience of a team of experts from seven countries in the Baltic Sea region. It is our hope that the Manifesto will outlive itself. We wish that in the future it will be self-evident for the food service sector to track and reduce food waste on a daily basis and to make the best of all the produce. Even a small, first step matters! May reducing food waste become a habit of gastronomy professionals, so that they contribute to a more sustainable food system.
What is food waste?Food waste is any edible food removed from the food supply chain to be disposed of (FAO, 2019). In other words, it is any food that is intended for, but not used for human consumption. In HoReCa, food waste can be divided into kitchen waste (surplus ingredients used to prepare meals) and plate waste (meal leftovers). Facts and figures on food waste It is estimated that approximately 1.3 billion tons of food, or a third of the world’s provisions, are lost every year (FAO, 2019) This is an equivalent to approximately 10% of the world's CO2 emissions, which is four times more than those generated by the aviation industry. Economically speaking, 2.6 trillion dollars are lost annually because of wasted food (FAO, 2019). From an environmental perspective, if food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (Zhongming, 2021). Moreover, the UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021 estimated that 26% of all food waste generated in 2019 came from the food service. This includes restaurants, catering, and hospitality enterprises (HoReCa) (Zhongming, 2021). Causes of food waste in HoReCa The reasons why food is wasted are different at each stage of the food supply chain. However, most of the problems are rooted in lack of organization and preparation in various aspects of running a gastronomy establishment. Here are some common mistakes that contribute to food waste, according to FAO (2019): Improper forecasting: underestimating demand or overstocking supplies. Insufficient staffing: either having too few or too many employees for the level of business. Poor menu design: offering dishes that are too complicated, not cost-effective, or don't appeal to the target market. Inadequate kitchen and service infrastructure: lack of equipment or space to efficiently prepare and serve food. Neglecting to plan for special events or peak times, resulting in service disruptions or a drop in quality. Ignoring market trends and customer preferences, which leads to a lack of innovation and relevance. Lack of attention to food safety and hygiene, which can harm the reputation of the establishment and lead to health issues for customers. Neglecting to budget for necessary expenses, such as repairs, maintenance and replacements of equipment. Confusing expiration and preferred consumption date labels.
Impact of food waste reduction: let’s talk about the benefitsAs gastronomy professionals, we know that every ingredient counts. But in a world where people still struggle with hunger and malnutrition, wasting food is not only a significant economic loss, but is also unethical and unfair conduct on part of the HoReCa sector. Food waste is also an unjustifiable mismanagement of resources, such as water, energy and land. There are various causes of food waste, but many of them are rooted in lack of organization and preparation. However, inefficient food handling, overproduction, and inaccurate ordering can be easily changed by building awareness and introducing thoughtful modifications. Gastronomy professionals have the power to make a difference. By wise planning and rational use of resources, a common ground can be created between staff and guests. By reducing food waste, a professional kitchen can tangibly improve labor efficiency in a workplace, control stock, cut costs and increase revenue, while ensuring positive customer experience. Actions to prevent food waste are not only cost-oriented. They can be used as the foundation for a profitable, sustainable business model that reduces harmful environmental effects and promotes social responsibility. Let`s join the forces and combat the food waste step by step. May the food be with you, and not with the trash!
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The GREAT TASTE - ZERO WASTE
10 main guidelines
01 Plan efficiently
Planning is the key to preventing food waste! With a plan in hand, you can provide the right amount of superb food while reducing costs and using your resources more effectively.
02 Measure and analyze your food waste
What gets measured, gets improved. By measuring and analyzing food waste, restaurants can identify areas for its prevention. Based on data, they can work on the taste and presentation of their products, as well as set realistic goals for regular improvement of all other processes and operations.
03 Design a smart menu
Plan your offer according to season, region, type of service, and the needs of your client. Reduce the number of ingredients in the kitchen and maximize their use. Allow yesterday's surplus food or expiring products to become today's meal. Be creative!
04 Serve reasonable portions
Size matters! By adjusting the portion size, restaurants can control food costs, reduce waste, and improve profitability. The optimum size of servings needs to be calculated based on food cost, as well as customer needs and preferences. In some cases, an adjustable portion size system is the go-to option.
05 Order responsibly
Responsible procurement is based on data, not on wishful thinking. Stocking up only for the nearest time perspective allows for better product rotation and ensures that ingredients are always fit for consumption. Partnering with trusted suppliers will help you meet your customers and kitchen needs more closely.
06 Practice good storage routines
Orderly storage supports a streamlined use of produce according to the FIFO rule and reduces waste. It is a crucial approach, which guarantees food safety, quality, and longevity. These factors impact the quality of the finished product and ensure great taste.
07 Build a zero-waste culture in your kitchen
The quest for great taste with zero waste starts in the kitchen. Its key factor is people. If the staff are highly aware, and then well-trained in zero-waste routines and goals, they will not only make the restaurant work like a clock, but also provide excellent taste and quality customer experience. The zero-waste approach can also bolster the sense of responsibility in the kitchen team, spark team spirit, and provide new ways to introduce a bit of fun.
08 Go beyond your kitchen
What is waste for one can be a resource for others. Join a local network of zero-waste agents or create one yourself. Sign up for a food rescue service, or partner with a local charity or NGO. Try bartering your by-products with local producers. Support or even organize know-how exchange initiatives.
Communication is the key! Make sure to explain the approach to your staff and clients. Encourage your audience to propose their ideas based on their needs and preferences. Communicate your zero-waste efforts through written, visual and video material on site or online.
10 Mind the taste!
When all is said and done, great taste is the key to success in a catering business. With a reputation for good food, you will have no plate waste to worry about! Train the staff to provide great taste and quality without allowing waste.