Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector takes a stand against food waste

27th March 2015
  • Northern Ireland Environment Minister visits hotel tackling food waste head on

The issue of food waste in the hospitality sector is being tackled head on by a growing number of businesses in Northern Ireland, with significant business benefits.

To illustrate this, WRAP Northern Ireland today published details of how two of Northern Ireland’s leading hotel groups, the Andras House Hotels and City Hotel Derry, have made significant financial savings through their involvement in the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement (HaFSA).

As part of HaFSA, a voluntary agreement supporting the sector in reducing waste and recycling more, the two chains have been trialling a smart meter to measure food waste over a number of weeks in selected hotels. The meters help to identify ways to reduce the amount of food thrown away, and highlight cost savings.

Andras House Hotels carried out a nine-week trial at its Days Hotel in Belfast. As a result the hotel is now saving more than £400 per week, approximately £21,000 per year. By replicating the actions taken at this one hotel across all its Belfast venues the group hopes to save in the region of £59,000 per year. 

Rajesh Rana, director, Andras Hotel Group, commented: “We would like to thank Minister Durkan and WRAP Northern Ireland for facilitating for us to take part in this fantastic initiative. As a hotel group, we have not only learnt how to reduce our costs through food waste management, but we have been educated in how the entire team can reduce the environmental impact that waste causes.

"We have taken on board the learnings and introduced new procedures across the board, which will certainly reduce the amount of food we throw away each day and effectively save us £21,000 per year in Days Hotel alone."

Similar savings are being enjoyed by the City Hotel Derry, which has increased awareness of food waste within the business through a combination of smart meter monitoring and awareness-raising among staff. This has led to a steady decrease in the amount of food wasted over the trial period, and a reduction of more than 30% in food waste per cover. 

Commenting on these achievements Minister Durkan said, “I want to congratulate the City Hotel and Andras House Group for showing the way in tackling food waste.  I would strongly commend this approach to others in the hospitality sector.

“The Waste Prevention Programme for Northern Ireland highlights the benefits of voluntary agreements with business on waste and resource efficiency. My Department will continue to work with partners to ensure that voluntary agreements work well in the North and are drivers for preventing waste.”

Ian Garner, Manager of WRAP Northern Ireland which manages HaFSA, said of today’s results “Our research shows that on average, hospitality businesses spend anywhere between £1,700 and £4,000 on every tonne of food waste. These examples show how simple changes in the way businesses operate can make a big difference to balance sheets. Tourism is an important industry for Northern Ireland and I hope other hotels, restaurants and on-trade outlets will contact WRAP Northern Ireland to find out how they can get involved.”

 

Notes for editor

  • To read the full case studies visit http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/supporting-resources-hospitality-and-food-service-sector-4
  • WRAP estimates that food waste from UK hospitality and food service outlets cost the entire sector £2.5 billion in 2011. It predicts that this figure will rise to £3billion by 2016. This includes the cost of ingredients, energy, transport, water and labour (to prepare, cook and serve the food) plus waste management costs.
  • The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement supports the sector in reducing waste and increasing recycling. The Agreement is open to any size organisation from multi-national companies to small businesses, and from sector wholesalers/distributors to trade bodies. It has two targets:
  • Prevention: Reduce food and associated packaging waste arising by 5% by the end of 2015.
  • Waste management: Increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste being recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015.
  • WRAP published the first year results of the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement in December 2014. This showed that signatories had made over £10 million worth of savings by reducing food waste alone.
  • WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits. Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through:
    - re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,
    - re-thinking how we use and consume products, and
    - re-defining what is possible through recycling and reuse.
  • First established in 2000, WRAP is a registered charity. WRAP works with UK Governments and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency. WRAP is a registered Charity No. 1159512 and registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 4125764.
Contact

Ian Palmer

PR Officer, WRAP
01295 819 677