WRAP launches Hospitality and Food Service Agreement

WRAP has today (27 June) launched a new Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, which aims to reduce food and packaging waste and recycle more of what is left over. 68 food producers, hotels, fast-food outlets, caterers, industry bodies and government departments from across the UK have signed up so far.

The voluntary agreement builds on earlier WRAP studies into waste produced by the food service and hospitality sector, which found that significant improvements could be made. A report released by WRAP in 2011 found that the industry produced 3.4 million tonnes of waste, of which 43 per cent was disposed of, mainly to landfill. Especially concerning was that 78 per cent of the residual waste was made up of easily recyclable food, paper, card and glass.

WRAP designed the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement to encourage waste prevention and better waste management and in order to achieve this, businesses who’ve signed the agreement have until 2015 to reduce food and packaging waste by five per cent and increase the waste that is recycled, sent for anaerobic digestion or composted to 70 per cent. WRAP hopes that 25 per cent of the industry will sign up to the agreement.

Aside from the environmental benefits of the waste reduction strategy, WRAP estimates that if 25 per cent of the food service industry signed up to the agreement they could save a total of £76 million by 2015.

Anyone in the food service or hospitality sector can sign up to the agreement, and organisations will be categorised into either signatories or supporters. The signatories will be companies producing food and serving it directly to the customer, and will have to report against the two main targets. Supporters might be suppliers to the industry, trade organisations, packaging manufacturers or even businesses who contract out their catering. There are currently 27 signatories and 41 supporters of the agreement but WRAP hope to encourage more to get onboard.

Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP, said: “Tackling food waste brings significant financial and environmental benefits, as already demonstrated through our work on household food waste and within the Courtauld Commitment. I am therefore delighted that so many organisations have signed up already to the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, and we continue to urge businesses, large and small, to sign up.”

More information on the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement can be found on WRAP’s website.