The future of sustainability in the foodservice industry was on the table for discussion this week at Plate2Planet's live summit, held at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall in London.
The need to work together was the main message that came out of the inaugural Plate2Planet live sustainability summit, marking the first anniversary of plate2planet.co.uk, the collaborative website for discussion and ideas on sustainability in foodservice, powered by Planet Mark-certified Bidvest Foodservice.
Notable speakers included Peter Worsey, Food and Drink Sector Specialist from WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), who highlighted the cost of food waste. “There’s no doubt that food waste is one of the most pressing sustainably issues in our industry today. The cost of food waste to the UK hospitality industry is 2.5 billion - this is equivalent to 1.3 billion meals or one in six meals served,” he said.
The summit tackled other issues, including the controversial topic of sugar reduction and childhood obesity, which brought together panelists Andy Jones, former Chair of the Hospital Caterers Association and Chair of the PS100, Julie Barker, Director of Accommodation & Hospitality at the University of Brighton, Dan Parker from the Jamie Oliver Sugar Smart campaign and David Jones, Director of Technical Services at Bidvest Foodservice (pictured left to right).
“It’s all about working together,” said Jones. “Let’s not forget that some sugars are natural, we need to go on a journey to wean people off the bad sugar – education and simple, clear messages are the way forwards.”
Shirley Duncalf, Head of Sustainability at Bidvest Foodservice, and the architect of plate2planet.co.uk, also made the case strongly for working together: “Collaboration is absolutely fundamental to what we do today and for the future. It’s about the industry working together to achieve a sustainable future for hospitality. We, together, have a vital role to play in leading the sustainable agenda across the whole industry. From food waste, which costs the sector £720 million per year, to lowering sugar levels and ensuring a sustainable supply chain, collaboration and communication is what we need to do today for the future generation.”
plate2planet.co.uk launched a year ago to address the growing demand in the food sector for useful and practical information about sustainability. It brings together a ‘green alliance’ drawn from right across the foodservice and hospitality industry including: WRAP, the Sustainable Restaurant Association, The Planet Mark™, Nestlé Professional, Unilever and Premier Foods amongst others.