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Compass redistributes 257,000 meals worth of surplus food

  • Overall with redistribution partners the company has saved over one million meals in the last decade
  • Seventh Stop Food Waste Day took place 26th April 2023, inspiring action throughout Compass and beyond

Compass Group UK & Ireland has announced that over the past year it has diverted 109 tonnes of food, which is the equivalent of around 257,000 meals worth of surplus food, to organisations including FareShare, Olio, Too Good To Go and local charities.

Working with FareShare since 2014, Compass has saved an estimated 977,884 meals (as of March 2023) with much of the food donated being surplus and end of range. FareShare reallocates food from the food industry, turning it into meals for charities and community groups. Combining donations to the organisations throughout the partnerships, Compass has now redistributed over 1 million meals.

FareShare supports hundreds of charities, helping people across the UK through projects like community centres and community cafes. In October 2022, Compass Scotland also announced it had set up a separate partnership across its sites to support the charity. Compass Cymru works closely with FareShare Cymru. Compass Ireland also donated over €5000 worth of food to charities in the past year.

Simon Millard, FareShare’s Food Director, commented: “We rely on organisations like Compass to provide much-needed food to our network of 9,500 charities across the UK. This reduces food going to waste and also provides essential support to communities during the cost of living crisis. Never has our work been so vital.”

Tackling food waste is an important part of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Climate Net Zero by 2030 ambition, which includes a commitment to halve food waste. Compass’ teams across the business aim to stop food waste through preventing, recovering and recycling. Only when food waste is unavoidable, do teams turn to redistribution and recycling.

At site level Compass has committed to the roll out of its food waste recording system, which supports the accurate measurement and reduction of waste. To understand why and how it occurs, the system has now evolved to show which stages of foodservice produce the most waste, to create specific and targeted interventions. This means Compass will now report on food waste across five categories: out of date; plate; post-production; pre-production; and retail.

Stop Food Waste Day was launched by Compass Group USA in 2017 – it’s an annual event with the aim of raising awareness around the issue. To celebrate Stop Food Waste Day some of the activities that took place with clients, consumers and the wider industry include:

  • Headquarters in Chertsey hosted a food waste menu, created by the participants of its Forward with Marcus Wareing programme. Created by over 20 talented chefs the menu included Waste BBQ sauce & veg scrap kimchi; and Chickpea Eton Mess. The event hosted Colin Wheeler-James, the chef from Ground Up Cookery School who is a renowned forager and food waste consultant.
  • The Parklands office featured a special menu with dishes such as veggie frittata; and coffee grind granola bars – using up surplus food from the menu on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Chartwells, Compass’ education catering specialists, has been running a #Wastewarrior campaign encouraging teams to share best practice tips. They also created a special Cauliflower Mac n Cheese – using the entire cauliflower, it demonstrates perfectly that we can all be making more of vegetables. Plus, the Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen food waste workshops continue online and in person to schools across the UK.
  • Sports and entertainment sector, Levy UK+I, served ‘Zero Waste’ dishes at some of its sites. Chelsea FC’s hospitality matchday menu included Zero Waste Crisps, which utilised vegetable peel from production kitchens and Zero Waste Courgettini.
  • One Retail is now using Too Good To Go in over 100 sites and continues work to roll this out.
  • Compass’ Healthcare division continues to use The Cuisine Centre’s Steamplicity concept, which is proven to reduce food waste to 2.5%.
  • Eurest created a poll to find out what people waste at home most, then used recipes from the ‘Plenty’ concept, that utilises some of these items. The team planned an evening for the charity FoodCycle, where they shared ideas for using waste. As part its ‘Our Kitchen Promise’ they have continued to deliver training and engagement workshops to develop a root to tip, nose to tail, culture in kitchens.
  • ESS Defence is utilising by-products, such as coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit trimmings, in its hospitality menus. For a recent charity event, the team created a ‘No Waste Piccalilli’ and ‘Dustbin Ketchup’ made from ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • The ESS Energy team developed a range of dishes that utilise ingredients which often go to waste, including banana pancakes with maple glazed banana bacon; and onion & garlic bhaji.
  • Restaurant Associates has been running a best food waste innovation competition. This is alongside delivering delicious Waste Knotmenus across venues and offices – together their partnership has saved over 30 tonnes of fruit and veg this year.  

Ashleigh Taylor, Head of Environment, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Stop Food Waste Day is a great platform for us to raise awareness of this important issue – but it is so much more than one day and it’s our focus to tackle this problem and create a real impact in driving forward the agenda. It’s great to see action across our business, but what I love most is that we’re seeing suppliers, customers, colleagues and businesses around the globe support this initiative.”

Parent company, Compass Group, has recently launched its ‘Chefs Creating Change’, Global Culinary Forum convening over 1,500 Compass chefs from around the world to share their best food waste insights, tips, and tools. With the success of the first Stop Food Waste Day Cookbook last year, Compass has also now created an extended edition of the digital cookbook, featuring recipes from over 50 Compass chefs across nearly 40 countries.

Visit the website here - STOP FOOD WASTE DAY