Compass Group yesterday garnered the support of some of the most influential companies and celebrity chefs to rally the industry into accelerating the fight against food waste with ‘Stop Food Waste Day’.
The White House even further elevated this effort, by acknowledging the month of April as ‘Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month’, supported by a historic interagency agreement between Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Globally, millions of zero-food-waste meals were served throughout Compass cafés in hospitals, schools, arenas, corporations, museums and senior living communities yesterday.
Chefs, including celebrity and humanitarian José Andrés, encouraged people to take the pledge to make every day Stop Food Waste Day, leading live cooking demonstrations, hosting zero-waste dinners and educating the public on ways to reduce food waste, inspiring reduction in both professional and home kitchens.
“As a chef, every bit of food wasted represents a meal that we didn’t serve to someone in need. Wasted food is a wasted opportunity, as well as the land, water, energy and love that goes into growing and distributing our food,” says Andrés, a nominee for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Compass Group’s network of global partners – which includes Google and HSBC – universities and hospitals like Carnegie Mellon and Jersey Shore Medical, plus industry influencers like Andrés, Tom Colicchio and Danny Meyer, among others, also helped to mobilize the movement to drive results.
“Chefs are positioned to change the food system,” says Tristram Stuart, an expert on the environmental and social impact of food. “Compass Group is giving them the power to be culture leaders, recognizing they are the number one asset we have to turn this crisis around.”
Last year, Stop Food Waste Day went global with support from Compass Group NA’s parent company, Compass Group PLC, headquartered in the UK, uniting 34 countries and 12 million people behind the company’s mission to create a positive impact for people, planet and the food system.
Compass Group is on track to meet its goal of reducing waste 25% by 2020 and has announced a long-term goal to reduce food waste 50% by 2030, joining the US Food Loss and Waste 2030 group and aligning with the United Nation’s waste-reduction agenda.
Compass NA invests in training, digital platforms and innovative systems to uncover opportunities to reduce waste throughout the lifecycle of food – from harvesting and producing to purchasing and portioning.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of the massive food waste issue and provide solutions to reduce it,” said Amy Keister, Compass Group SVP of sustainability.