Unilever launches food waste toolkit for restaurants

Unilever Food Solutions has developed a waste toolkit for catering venues and restaurants to help food service operators control their costs better.

The toolkit breaks down the cost of commercial food waste and contains guidance on how establishments can carry out waste audits. It includes a briefing sheet for managers, guidelines for staff and menu ideas to use frequently wasted ingredients.

Unilever drew up the toolkit in response to its latest World Menu Report, which highlights the growing problem of food waste when consumers dine out. According to the research, over half the food produced in the world today is wasted as a result of inefficiencies in the human managed food chain.

The study surveyed over 500 Australian consumers and found that 81% of them thought it important for foodservice operators to dispose food waste in an environmentally-friendly way. In addition, half would pay more when dining out for a restaurant that was implementing sustainable practices.

On its website, Unilever says that reducing food waste is one of the biggest challenges for the food service industry. It states: “Food has a particularly high carbon footprint and requires considerable resources to grow, process and prepare.

“Many only think about disposal expenses when considering food waste, however we know for a fact that there are a number of other costs to consider when estimating the overheads of waste.”

Tips included in the toolkit include examining portion sizes based on consumption patterns, accurate measuring of ingredients, using off-cuts to create starter dishes, and using vegetable trimmings to make soups.

The toolkit is initially only available to Australian foodservice operators, but more information on it can be found here

Maxine Perella

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