The CSR team has been focusing on minimising waste across the group, reconsidering the link between the latter and fighting hunger. In line with the second pillar of our Sustainability policy, Zero Waste- nourishing our customers, employees and communities at large is a crucial focus as part of our 2016 strategic CSR plan.
It’s a ghastly paradox, globally, we waste four billion tons of food every year whilst 870 million people in the world remain under-nourished (WFP, 2016). Imagine that ‘every year, consumers in rich countries waste as much food (222 million tons) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons)’ (UNEP, 2013).
As an individual, you can’t stop this phenomenon, but doing your share will definitely have a positive impact. Small changes to the way you shop and eat such as improved meal planning, willingness to buy the so-called ‘less attractive’ fruit and vegetables, familiarising yourself with food storage rules and freezing, eating leftovers and donating will make a difference.
The team has been working with Alosra to find new ways to redirect products with a short shelve life and those with a near end date. Currently, expired food is collected in a closed skip and disposed of. Food items are disposed of properly with a 3-month notice period to the supplier before expiry.
Did you know? On average, Bahrain produces around 400 tons of food waste per day.
Certain client contracts, stipulate that expired or unconsumed food cannot be given away or sold and must be sent for destruction. This is due to the food bypassing national health regulations, inspections and rules for foreign military consumption. This is a double wastage in countries like Djibouti suffering from famine where more than 50% of the population lacks access to food.
Currently, some of the excess unrestricted food is distributed to the Migrant Workers Society and other organisations but there are numerous complications behind food redistribution.
As an ongoing initiative, the CSR team will also begin work to eliminate food waste at our restaurants. Progress has already been made in identifying ways to collaborate with local associations and NGOs for food redistribution to those in need. Additionally, with Alosra’s support, campaigns tackling food waste awareness and educating customers on how to shop and eat better will also be introduced.
Don’t hesitate getting in touch with the team if you have any ideas about how we can further amplify this initiative! Stay tuned for some really exciting things ahead!