Taste Not Waste: Food waste from business

Why food waste?

The UK hospitality and food sector wastes one million tonnes of food every year, three quarters of which is still edible. That’s 18% of all food purchased in the sector, or one in six meals served, being thrown away each year!

As well as diverting good food from those in need, this also wastes all of the natural resources and hard work put into its production.

Take that unloved lettuce at the back of your fridge – it was grown using land, water and fertiliser, processed, packaged (often in plastic) and transported in energy-hungry, refrigerated vehicles. Huge amounts of fossil fuels and other natural resources are used by the time it lands in your kitchen!

If it’s not eaten, lovely lettuce will often end up in landfill. Here it breaks down and releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which is contributing to climate change. 

Business benefits

Food can be wasted all the way through the supply chain from field to fork. With UK food businesses throwing away £2.5 billion worth of food each year, there is a huge opportunity for companies to cut their food waste and environmental impact and benefit from:

  • Higher profits: through lower purchasing and waste disposal costs
  • More customers: consumers are increasingly attracted to businesses that operate responsibly
  • New PR opportunities: more ways to promote your business and engage with existing and potential customers. Tackling food waste is also a positive step towards attaining a Cambridge Sustainable Food Business Award
  • Legal compliance: through following the waste hierarchy to reduce, redistribute and recycle food waste from your business
  • A warm, fuzzy feeling: that comes with knowing you are doing good!

Get involved

Many food businesses across Cambridge are already reaping the rewards of reducing their food waste. Have a look at our case studies here.

Will you join them?

Cambridge Sustainable Food is helping restaurants, cafes and food outlets across the city to start saving by measuring and cutting their food waste as part of our ‘Taste Not Waste’ programme.

Funded by Cambridge City Council and with support from waste experts, WRAP, we can offer free, hands-on support to help your business cut food waste and costs.

Contact gemma@cambridgesustainablefood.org to find out more and start saving.

You can also check out our Taste Not Waste resources for top tips on how to reduce food waste in your business. Visit our measure food waste and take action pages to get started. 

Already taking action on food waste in your business? We’d love to hear about it! Share your stories and ideas with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #TasteNotWasteCambridge or email gemma@cambridgesustainablefood.org