Building sustainability throughout the food supply chain




When you study all the issues surrounding the foodservice industry, it’s obvious that sustainability is more than a passing trend. We’re seeing more and more partners in the industry turning towards efficiency in how they source, create, and deliver food - and consumers are demanding it. But what does this mean for the future of restaurants?

According to a recent food safety report, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of food safety issues and are interested in seeing more transparency from the restaurants they frequent.

Specifically, 74% of consumers believe this is something that restaurants should be responsible for providing. Foodservice professionals can respond to this by investing in clean supply chains. While still a relatively new idea, it’s catching on with a number of leading brands.

Removing ‘unclean’ ingredients from a supply chain can be complex but is an unstoppable trend.

Silo in Brighton is one of the UK’s first zero-waste restaurants tackling this head on, demanding 100% “clean” solutions from every supplier. Ingredients and supplies are delivered packaging free or 100% biodegradable, even the plates are recycled.

We also see where tech can be applied to food procurement organisations and make a genuine difference to the environment. ‘Big data’ can be key in the management of food waste. This is one of the most pressing challenges our planet faces and is something as a group we are taking a lead on addressing through Stop Food Waste Day which is held every April.

The concept of reduce, reuse and recycle is great, but it doesn’t always say a lot in regard to the specifics. Each year roughly 1,250 calories per person, per day, are wasted, and foodservice professionals play a large role here.

Instead of just tossing food scraps into the trash, operators are becoming more creative.

From donating food to local non-profits to creating unique food dishes with food scraps that aren’t used, there are numerous ways to reduce waste with very little effort.

We are partnered with Winnow, a company setup exclusively to tackle the problem of food waste worldwide. Kitchens using Winnow technology know exactly what they’re putting in their bins and all of the info is recorded and can be analysed over time.

Also, in 2017 our parent company, Compass Group started Stop Food Waste Day, an annual event which aims to raise awareness of food wastage and encourage steps to reduce it.

This notion of ‘big data’ also has the potential to reach back, upstream, in the food supply chain, to give us much more specific forecasting of expected demand and take the industry to a demand-led approach to supply of food rather than procuring an abundance of food, much of which is wasted. Looking forward we see the potential of connecting into the farming community, meaning precision agriculture could boost productivity and reduce waste, benefiting everyone in the food chain – not least, the planet.

To find out more about how a partnership with Foodbuy can support you in building sustainability into your food supply chain, contact us here.