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Food Waste Action Week | March 18 – 22, 2024

According to WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action program), 4.7 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year by UK households, a quarter being the result of people cooking, preparing or serving too much. Shockingly, this costs households £4.9 billion each year. 

This week’s 4th annual Food Waste Week, spearheaded by Love Food Hate Waste, focuses on the theme ‘Choose What You’ll Use’, advocating the benefits of buying loose fruit and vegetables and inspiring people to do this wherever they can. WRAP research has shown that if all apples, bananas and potatoes were sold loose, up to 60,000 tonnes of food waste could be saved by enabling people to buy closer to their needs. 

Food waste is always on our minds at our fresh businesses as we actively try and reduce any waste in our supply chain as much as possible. In keeping with this year’s theme, Oliver Kay has always supplied product loose in buffet boxes to help customers order exactly what they need. Oliver Kay also has a long-standing partnership with Fareshare and local food banks, so where possible our food waste is redistributed for human consumption. In fact Bidfood, and by inclusion Oliver Kay, has been named Fareshare’s Leading Food Partner of 2024, a distinction we’re extremely proud of. Waste that is not appropriate for re-distribution is recycled and converted into green energy through Anaerobic Digestion. In addition we work with trusted suppliers who deliver quality products consistently within spec which minimise product waste through the transportation process. ​

At our meat and fish businesses, we offer staff training courses focusing on filleting and butchering skills so that trimmings are minimised. We also work with our customers, providing education resources focusing on recipes that promote  ‘nose to tail’ dining, and offering less wasteful products like skin on fish, shell on prawns and crabs, etc.

But this week, we’re more engaged than ever. We’re:

  1. Sharing the message about food waste action across all our depots via campaign posters and food facts
  2. Raising awareness on the food waste problem and educating employees on food waste action by providing learning materials, free guides and top tips
  3. Engaging employees to take part in Food Waste Action Week activities – and incentivising participation with an enticing prize J
  4. Sharing the message about food waste action across customer platforms (campaign posters and food waste facts)
  5. Creating and promoting a “Recipe Club” for customers to share their tips and recipes using our products
  6. Amplifying our network’s actions – and here’s where you can get involved! If you’re in the hospitality or food industry, help us amplify Food Waste Action Week by sharing it with your customers and staff using the hashtag #FoodWasteActionWeek.

If you’re looking at your own business and want some tips on how to engage with your employees, users, or customers, WRAP has fantastic free resources to help in all kinds of areas. Here’s a couple that might be of interest

  • Click here for a 5 Step Guide for How to Engage with Employees on Food Waste
  • For our customers in education, here’s a fantastic resource on engaging with students around the subject 

And if your business hasn’t yet had a chance to start tackling food waste, there’s no time like the present. This won’t only have a positive impact on the environment, but also on your bottom line: WRAP estimates that the average annual waste prevention potential for a manufacturing site or retailer is £1 million, and this is just from the top few no-cost and low-cost waste prevention opportunities like implementing efficient stock rotation practices.

To learn more about easy changes to make at your site, check out the Guardians of Grub network which offers a tremendous amount of free resources and tips including a free 15-minute cost savings skills course: You can also join their growing community Guardians of Grub on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

And finally we would be remiss not to mention our fresh produce and marketing reports as a fantastic tool for our customers help get food waste under control. Our market reports help customers forecast and forward plan in line with seasonality and any supply chain issues which helps ensure that food waste and surplus is kept to a minimum. ​

Here’s links to our most recent:  

Oliver Kay Market Report 

Direct Seafood Market Report 

Campbell Brothers Market Report 

If there’s anything that we can do to help you in your efforts to minimise food waste at your site, please get in touch with your account manager and we’d be delighted to do what we can to help.

A blog by Olivia Obrien. Olivia is our National Account Manager, supporting with our new sustainability focused initiatives.

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