Food waste is off the menu this September, as the UK’s hospitality and food service sector have signed up for the Stand Up for Food campaign to tackle what WRAP has said is the one million tonnes of food waste arising from commercial kitchens, restaurants and pubs, worth nearly £3bn a year.

The campaign forms part of WRAP’s Guardians of Grub exercise and is supported by the Government’s Food Surplus & Waste Champion Ben Elliot, well-known chefs and major industry businesses, figures and trade bodies. Companies that have declared their support include Deliveroo, Greene King, Pizza Hut and Unilever along with trade bodies including the British Beer and Pub Association, the Institute of Hospitality and the Local Authority Catering Association.

According to WRAP statistics One million tonnes of food prepared in the hospitality and food service sector every year is thrown away – 75% of this food could have been eaten and the sector is responsible for 10% of the total 10.2m tonnes of UK food waste each year.

To tackle this kitchens and staff are encouraged to use a range of free resources produced by WRAP that share best practice on reducing food waste. These include guidance and resources to help measure and review food thrown away.

With findings showing that 18% of food purchased by the sector ends up in the bin, the priority of the campaign is food measurement to make it easier for businesses to pinpoint where and why food waste occurs in their operations and work out how to stop good food ending up in the bin. 21% of food waste arises from spoilage, 45% in preparation and 34% from plate waste, WRAP aims to encourage businesses to make simple, low-cost changes to how food is procured, prepared and presented that reduce the amount needlessly thrown away.

WRAP director Peter Maddox said that food waste is just as important as climate change in the fight to help our planet.

He said, “Food waste usually goes unnoticed in relation to climate change, but the reality is that we won’t stop temperatures rising if we fail to address the problems within the food system. This is the largest, most inclusive campaign we’ve ever undertaken with the hospitality and food service sector and key has been recruiting the Guardians to make this happen in their own businesses and arming those people with the right resources to help.” “We can all help save the planet and our future by starting with ourselves in the industry. We who prepare and serve food should do everything possible to adjust our wasteful habit of discarding perfectly good food. Before throwing anything away, think about how it can be used. Garlic peels, for example, are wonderful in a roast or stock. Leftover vegetables can be used to make a delicious savoury soup.”