Olive Catering provides workplace catering services, specialising in providing freshly cooked food to its clients. One such client is the Central England Co operative (a Courtauld Commitment 2025 signatory), for which it operates an in house restaurant, along with meeting and events catering, at its head office in Lichfield, Staffordshire.
By week 9 of the measurement period weekly food waste had dropped by 38%. Staff engagement was key to this change. All staff were involved in recording food waste and, as a result, became very aware of waste production, taking independent action to reduce it. Further action will be taken using hot spots of waste production identified during the measurement period.
By using the tools to measure food waste, Olive Catering could pinpoint hotspots in order to make changes Daily practices have been tweaked as Olive continue to tackle wasted food The tracking calculator available at www.guardiansofgrub.com enabled them to quickly analyse and understand their food waste over many weeks.
The success of the project was due to the enthusiasm and willingness of their locations to be a part of the programme.
“Central England Co-operative views tracking wasted food as a natural extension to our Courtauld 2025 commitment and also an excellent opportunity to support a supplier in improving their sustainability.”
CR Manager Central England Co operative
KEY ACTIONS 1
Food waste was measured over nine weeks, with data being recorded manually and then transferred weekly to the food waste calculator spreadsheet to enable fast and effective analysis.
KEY ACTIONS 2
Analysis showed that there was little waste from spoilage and plate and the preparation waste was mainly inedible parts so action focussed on the predominant waste from production. Therefore, waste from the salad bar and from pre prepared sandwiches was targeted.
For the salad bar, an increased number of the popular pre prepared salads were offered meaning that the food offered in the salad bar could be reduced. For the pre prepared sandwiches, they were made to order on one day of the week, that day identified as the highest for waste production.
What results we saw
Between week 1 and week 9 total food waste reduced from 82kg to 51kg, or by 38%. Making sandwiches to order rather than pre-preparing them reduced waste from this source to zero.
Tracking wasted food has helped Olive Catering to pinpoint hotspots and take action to reduce waste.
Work will continue between Olive Catering and the Central England Co operative, focussing on the menu and service options, to continue to take food waste off the menu.