An new State of the Industry report on food waste in the Asia Pacific region has been published by The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), on 10 May 2019, at its Annual Summit in Cebu. The free report is available here.
Globally, a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted per year, according to the FAO (2019). That is, one-third of all food produced for human consumption in a world where 842 million people are undernourished. As one of the largest global economic sectors, tourism and travel has a key role to play in stepping up action to help control and minimize food waste at all stages, from supply and inventory, to preparation and service.
The tourism and hospitality industry serves billions of meals every year in restaurants and hotels. In fact, according to a study by Nielsen and the Green Restaurant Association in 2004, 95% of a restaurant’s general waste can typically be recycled or composted.
The report, ‘BUFFET: building an understanding for food excess in tourism’, evaluates the current state of play of food waste in the Asia Pacific region by reviewing governmental, private sector, non-profit and developmental initiatives that centre on solving this growing industry issue, and the opportunities that the industry has to help solve this global challenge. The report presents data and case studies on current initiatives, as well as, providing recommendations to organisations seeking to begin their food waste reduction journeys.
Case studies include: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Cordis, Auckland, Costa Cruises, Easia Travel, Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, Grand Hyatt Singapore, Jetwing Hotels, Luang Prabang Handle With Care, Bangkok Marriott, Marquis Queen’s Park, New South Wales Environment Protection Authority – Organics Infrastructure, ORCA, Rembrandt Hotel & Suites Bangkok, Uniworld, and Vancouver Airport Authority.
The report is the culmination of PATA’s BUFFET food waste reduction campaign over the last year, which launched in January 2018 (further here). The Campaign brings together multiple-stakeholders to raise awareness, develop and share resources, and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by tackling food waste. These SDGs include acting to achieve zero hunger (SDG2), ensuring responsible consumption and production (SDG12), taking urgent action to combat climate change (SDG13) and fostering partnerships (SDG17). The campaign also includes a free toolkit (here) and accompanying resources to tackle food waste.
Cutting food waste within the hotel and hospitality trade makes good environmental, social and economic sense for companies, as PATA’s CEO, Dr. Mario Hardy highlights, “The benefits of doing something about food waste (is) clear – cutting food waste will boost your triple bottom line and will have a massive effect down the supply chain. Food loss and waste amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital. It also produces greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes to global warming and climate change.
The report was supported by a number of collaborating organisations, including the Travel Corporation, Earth Check, WRAP, International Tourism Partnership, The Travel Foundation, Project Scholars of Sustenance, Futouris and assistance from Winnow and Greenview.