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New initiative launched to tackle food waste

In the UK, we waste around 10 million tonnes of food a year, 60% of which is avoidable. As part of its commitment to tackling food waste, King’s Food is launching a new initiative at all of its outlets.

As of 19th February 2018, students and staff will be able to take advantage of the 50@50 scheme, in which selected food products close to expiry date will be reduced to clear and marked with 50% discount 50 minutes before closing. The scheme is intended to reduce food waste by minimising the number of food items that pass their expiry dates, at which point they can no longer legally be stocked and must be disposed of.

King’s Food manages its processes carefully to avoid food waste, and already runs a number of initiatives in its operations to reduce it. Firstly, it monitors waste from preparing food, including peelings and parts of vegetables or fruits that can’t be used, and its chefs continually seek ways to reduce this and use the greatest possible amount of produce during meal preparation.

Secondly, it has reviewed portion sizes and serving methods to minimise waste from plate scrapings when customers don’t eat everything they buy. Included in this category would be food leftover from customers over-ordering for hospitality events, which can’t be re-used or safely donated once it has been sat in uncontrolled conditions e.g. uncovered and unrefrigerated. And thirdly, it closely monitors trends around food waste arising from over-production of meals or over-supply of grab-and-go items. It manages food waste production on home-cooked dishes through processes such as batch-cooking of dishes and cooking certain meals to order.

In recent months, King’s food has extended the recycling of food waste to all its catering outlets, and sends unavoidable waste for processing via anaerobic digestion. This process breaks the waste down to produce biogas (which generates electricity), and biofertiliser (which helps produce more food). King’s Food is also looking into the option of donating leftover food to charity collection schemes.

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