Transforming blemished food into beautiful dishes

Published on : 9/12/22
  • Did you know that globally 30% of food produced is wasted each year?

    As a food services company serving 100 million consumers every day, this is a key topic for us and we are working to reduce food waste throughout our business, from our supply chain to our kitchens right through to the plates of our consumers. 

    Globally we’ve committed to halve our food waste by 2025 vs. 2017 levels, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to reduce the amount of food wasted by 50% by 2030.

    One of the ways we are reaching this target is through local initiatives like ‘Wasteful to Tasteful’ in the UK.

    What is ‘Wasteful to Tasteful’?

    In the UK 250,000 tons of good food is wasted each year. That’s the equivalent of 65 million meals. Some crops never even leave the farm because of minor imperfections in their appearance such as scars, mud splashes or unusual shapes. Known in the industry as surplus and misshapen produce and known to consumers as fruit and veg that looks ‘wonky’, despite its appearance this food is perfect in terms of taste.

    Through Sodexo UK’s ‘Wasteful to Tasteful’, we have joined forces with Waste Knot, an organization that connects businesses like ours with Ferryfast, a co-operative of farmers with surplus food, notably rescued fruit and vegetables, which is then delivered in recycled banana boxes to Sodexo’s catering teams across the country.

     

    The contents of the boxes change with seasonality and availability, and our catering teams have the opportunity to get creative and use these ingredients in new and innovative ways. For example, May-July vegetables this year were Cabbage, Carrots and Kale, which were used in dishes like Quinoa, Kale and Spinach Risotto, Indian Spiced Lentil Soup and Roasted Chicken with Spelt & Savoy Cabbage.

    Sustainable farming methods in practice

    The FerryFast cooperative is a valued partner for Sodexo in the journey to a more sustainable future.  In addition to this initiative fighting against food waste while supporting local growers and producers, FerryFast has several other sustainability measures in place at their farms such as:

    • A system of channels which redirects rainwater into a reservoir that is then used as the water source for the farm. 
    • Rotation of crops every three years, giving the soil time to regenerate all the nutrients which have been lost in the growing process. 
    • All the produce grown has the LEAF kite mark, meaning that there are strict rules about husbandry and growing that must be adhered to.
       

    Rescuing ‘wonky’ fruit and veg saves food waste

    ‘Wasteful to Tasteful’ helps to reduce the volume of surplus and misshapen fruit and vegetables being thrown away or left to rot. 

    This initiative was launched in 2018 and so far has saved 156,235kg of fruit and veg from going to landfill across 289 of our sites.

    Hear more from a UK producer who has been supplying Sodexo with wonky veg and trying to reduce food waste whilst battling with increased running costs and Covid-related shortages.

    Find out more about the different ways we are reducing food waste globally