Footprint Blog


Convotherm wins Gulfood Award for best Ecological Initiative

Posted in Equipment,News,Sustainability by foodservicefootprint on March 10, 2010

The new Convotherm EcoCooking mode, which was launched in the UK at Hotelympia, has won the Gulfood Award for the best ecological initiative. Manitowoc launched their new eco friendly Convotherm ovens at this years Hotelympia with great success, and this award is a testament to the significant energy savings that can now be achieved.

The new EcoCooking Mode has been designed to reduce energy usage by up to 25% and will be added as a standard to all models from 2010. With increased energy prices continuing to burden commercial kitchens, the idea of saving 25% on energy consumption is a highly attractive prospect and an something that should not be ignored.

The operation system is quite simple as it is both easy and brilliant; the integrated Advanced Closed Systems keeps almost all the heat inside the chamber and does not allow it to escape while cooking. This new feature uses pre-programmed pulses of energy to maintain the required temperature, rather than keeping the power going throughout cooking. The food itself continues to cook by using the residual heat to prolong cooking and achieve the perfect result, even in the shortest amount of time.

This new feature not only saves energy, but actually improves the quality of many cooked food products such as roast meats, making them much more tender and reducing waste loss.

SILENT RUNNING

Posted in Equipment,Food Miles,Foodservice Footprint news,Logistics,Sustainability by foodservicefootprint on February 21, 2010

Michelle Hanson and Max Harris at the launch
On the subject of transport savings, Footprint attended the launch of an electric vehicle initiative on Friday.

A joint venture between foodservice operators Bunzl Catering Supplies and Sodexo sees the launch of the CO2 emissions-free and noise-free vehicle as part of continued sustainable distribution initiatives developed by the two businesses. Seeing it run, one could whistfully imagine the difference to noise levels if all vehicles were similar.

The 7.5 tonne light-goods vehicle, which will make its first official delivery on March 1st 2010, will have a range of up to 130 miles and a top speed of around 50mph. Drivers will be able to ‘refuel’ by recharging the vehicle at any standard three-phase socket. A day’s usage will cost ten per cent of the cost of fuel used by a conventional vehicle coveringthe same distance.

The vehicle was officially launched by Jim Haywood, Director of Environment Impact at Business in the Community (BITC), alongside Michelle Hanson, Commercial Director Sodexo UK and Ireland, and Max Harris, Operations & Regional Sales Director at Bunzl Catering Supplies. Both Sodexo and Bunzl are members of the BITC’s Mayday Network on Climate Change, the UK’s largest coalition of businesses that have committed to take action on climate change.

Global tea brand Tetley adds Rainforest Alliance certification

Posted in 1,Foodservice Footprint news,International,News,Sustainability,Sustainable Sourcing by foodservicefootprint on February 17, 2010


Tetley, the world’s second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea, has today announced its decision to obtain Rainforest Alliance certification for the Tetley brand globally.

Tetley has committed to purchasing all of the tea for its branded teabag and loose tea products from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms. All Tetley branded black, green and red (Rooibos) tea, including flavoured and decaffeinated varieties, will be part of the certification programme, which is scheduled for completion by 2016.

The first certified products will be available for the UK foodservice channel from April 2010. Tetley products sourced from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms will then become more widely available in the UK and Canada early in 2011, followed by launches in other key markets including the US, Australia and mainland Europe from 2012.

Given its presence in 70 countries around the world, Tetley’s commitment to Rainforest Alliance certification is a significant move for the global tea industry that will have a wide-reaching and positive impact across the brand’s global supply chains. The collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will empower and support growers to proactively address and manage the social and environmental challenges they face. Tea producers in all the major tea-growing regions will benefit.

All farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified™ have met the environmental, social, and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers.

Tetley is one of the brands of the Tata Beverage Group. CEO, Peter Unsworth, said, “Our consumers will be able to enjoy their favourite Tetley blend knowing it has been produced in a way that respects the environment and the tea growers and pickers. We are delighted to be working with the Rainforest Alliance and Sustainable Agriculture Network who are well positioned to support a brand with the scale and reach of Tetley”.

Responding to Tetley’s announcement, Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance said, “We welcome this commitment from Tetley wholeheartedly. Tea farmers have faced many challenges, but working together we can make industry-wide changes to ensure positive environmental and social practices, and give consumers what they really want – reassurance that their cup of tea benefits both farmers and the land.”

Tetley remain active members of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), whose existing programme and collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will help facilitate the launch of Tetley certified products.

Sally Uren, Deputy CEO of Forum for the Future commented, “We have worked with Tetley for eight years, helping them bring sustainability to the heart of their business. Their plans with the Rainforest Alliance are evidence of a deep commitment to delivering a great product in a sustainable way. By doing the right thing for growers, pickers and the environment, Tetley is signalling its long term vision of helping create a sustainable global tea industry”.

Pig Business!

Posted in Comment,News,Provenance,Sustainability,Sustainable Sourcing by foodservicefootprint on January 31, 2010


Marchioness ‘Tracy’ of Worcester invited MP’s at Westminster to see her hard-hitting film Pig Business, which challenges the pork industry and campaigns for pig welfare, with the support of Zac Goldsmith, Tom Parker Bowles and actress Miranda Richardson.

Worcester told the Evening Standard ‘Until there is a mandatory country of origin and welfare label on pork, I believe we must ban the import of animals that are produced to a lower standard’.

Foodservice Footprint awaits eagerly to hear whether Pig Business has a similar impact to The End of The Line and makes a true measurable difference.

WWF SAYS EMISSIONS FROM UK FOOD INDUSTRY HIGHER THAN BELIEVED

Posted in Diet,Sustainability by foodservicefootprint on January 18, 2010

This press release received today claims food industry impact to be greater than assumed…

The food we eat accounts for 30% of the UK’s carbon footprint, according to a new report published today by WWF-UK and the Food Climate Research Network. Previous estimates put the figure closer to 20%, but this study is the first to incorporate land use change overseas, increasing the estimate of emissions attributed to food consumption in this country from 152MtCO2 to 253MtCO2.

Land use change, mainly deforestation, is a major source of climate changing emissions. Each year world-wide, an area of forest equivalent to half of England is lost. The expansion of the food system is the biggest driver behind this as land is cleared to grow crops and rear animals.

 Given the extent of food consumption on the UK’s overall emissions, WWF-UK and the FCRN are calling for a radical change to the country’s food system to help stop deforestation and reduce the scale of emissions from the food chain.

 The new report – How Low Can We Go: an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from the UK food system and the scope for reduction by 2050 – assessed various scenarios that explored what these changes might look like. Both technological and behavioural initiatives were tested, including decarbonisation of the energy used in the food chain, improved efficiencies and changes in consumption of meat and dairy products.

 If the food industry is to play its part in keeping temperature rises below two degrees, emissions need to be cut by at least 70% by 2050. The report concludes that no one solution alone can reduce emissions to this extent. WWF-UK and FCRN are urging Government and industry decision-makers to recognise that a focus on technology alone is not enough – food consumption patterns need to change too.

 Mark Driscoll, head of WWF-UK’s One Planet Food programme said: “The full impact of our diets on climate change is astonishingly high – this report shows that. This makes the target to cut emissions by at least 70% by 2050 a daunting task, but not an impossible one. We must stop chewing over some of the issues and start making change happen – both in terms of technology and behaviour.”

 Tara Garnett, head of the FCRN said: “We now know enough to conclude that the food system contributes very substantially to the problem of climate change. We also know enough about where and how the impacts arise to start doing something about them. Business as usual – and even business as usual ‘lite’ – is no longer an option.”

 In terms of the impacts of food consumption the report found:

•       The food chain’s contribution to overall UK consumption-related emissions is 20%. However, when land use change is included this increases to 30%.

•       All stages of the UK food chain give rise to emissions, with the breakdown as follows: production and initial processing (34%); manufacturing, distribution, retail and cooking (26%) and agriculturally-induced land use change (40%).

•       Livestock farming accounts for 57% of agricultural emissions and is also responsible for three quarters of land use change emissions.

 Solutions-wise, the report concluded that there is no silver bullet to achieve such reductions – a combination of activities and changes will be required. These include:

•       increasing production efficiency, including improved crop yields and changes to animal feeds to reduce methane emissions

•       a significant switch to non-carbon fuels and increased energy use efficiency

•       changes in the types of food we consume

 The idea of collaboration – between producers, processors, retailers, NGOs and Government – is highlighted in the Government’s recently published Food 2030 document, which sets out a vision for UK food. This should be applauded. The role of sustainable diets and a commitment to defining them will also be an important step.

Dietary changes will also ease land pressures, in terms of reducing the amount of land needed to produce the food we consume. While this study did not consider the impact of diet on land use change in detail, nor deal with the issue of land quality, and its potential to produce different types of food, these ideas will be dealt with in a follow-up study tackling the question of how changing consumption will affect land use.

 For more details and to receive a copy of the summary and report, contact David Burrows: dburrows@wwf.org.uk

Another wonderful example of how long term money saving and sustainability go hand in hand!

Posted in Comment,Credit Crunch,Economics,Foodservice Footprint news,Government,News,Sustainability by foodservicefootprint on December 15, 2009

According to Defra’s ‘Saving money – it’s your business’ campaign businesses are wasting £6.4Bn a year by missing simple money-saving opportunities.

Defra is highlighting the need for the catering and hospitality industry to cut down on waste, energy and water use to realise the financial benefits.

The campaign shows how simple environmental actions translate into money savings and is supplemented with practical advice on how to integrate resource efficient practices into daily operations.

For more information www.businesslink.gov.uk/savingmoney

Gosh, with such well thought out and helpful campaigns, how could Foodservice Footprint possibly argue that the Labour government isn’t doing enough for the catering and hospitality industry.

Sodexo launches Better Tomorrow Plan!

Sodexo announces the launch of its ‘Better Tomorrow Plan’, which aims to consolidate Sodexo’s sustainability performance and provide a framework to measure the impact of the company’s actions worldwide.

Sodexo’s strategy is built around three pillars:

  • ‘We are’ – which embraces values and ethics
  • ‘We do’ – which sets out 14 commitments to action on sustainability challenges
  • ‘We engage’ – which recognises the dialogue required to translate commitments into action

The 14 key commitments are spread across health, nutrition and wellness, local communities and the environment. Progress will be monitored with milestone assessments currently anticipated in 2012, 2015 and 2020.

For each of its commitments, Sodexo is developing phased plans and indicators to measure the degree of implementation and impact across the business.

Apart from announcements on Nutrition, Health, Wellness as well as Local Communities, Environment is key in this announcement.

With 33,900 sites in 80 countries, Sodexo is committed to implementing practices and policies that minimise its environmental impacts. Commitments in this area include:

  • ensuring compliance with a Global Sustainable Supply Chain Code of Conduct in all the countries where it operates by 2015.
  • sourcing local, seasonal or sustainably grown products in all the countries where it operates by 2015.
  • sourcing sustainable fish and seafood in all the countries where it operates by 2015.
  • sourcing and promoting sustainable equipment and supplies in all the countries where it operates by 2020.
  • reducing the company’s carbon footprint in all the countries where it operates and at client sites by 2020.
  • reducing its water footprint in all the countries where it operates and at client sites by 2020.
  • reducing organic waste in all the countries where it operates and at client sites by 2015 and supporting initiatives to recover organic waste.
  • reducing non-organic waste in all the countries where it operates and at client sites by 2015 and supporting initiatives to recover non-organic waste.

Thomas Jelley, corporate citizenship manager for Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “Our mission is to improve the quality of life for the people we serve and contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the areas where we operate. Through this ten-year sustainable development strategy, we are committing to continuous improvement through a challenging but robust and structured approach.”

Sustainability dominates the Press Association Media Awards!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Hickman, The Independent’s Consumer Affairs Correspondent has been named Journalist Of The Year at the Foreign Press Associations Media Awards.

His report on the environmental effects of palm oil beat news reports from the BBC, Channel 4, Wall Street Journal and even the Daily Telegraph’s coverage of the MP’s expense scandal.

The report revealed palm oil is destroying the rainforest and is threatening the survival of the orang-utan, yet is still found in best-selling food brands.

The report prompted Nestle, Marks & Spencer, Cadbury and Mars into moving to sustainable supply.

First ‘Foodservice’ Footprint Forum on sustainability calls on Government to do more!

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Footprint Forum 8th of October 2009

The inaugural Footprint Forum, sponsored by Sodexo on HMS Belfast in London, brought together the great and the good of the foodservice industry to discuss the burning issue of the day – how to achieve sustainability throughout the industry.

A panel of industry experts debated a wide range of concerns including waste, procurement, the confusion in some areas between organic and sustainable, fishing, equipment and energy, transport and incentives offered by the Carbon Trust to buy new greener kit.

Introducing the Forum, Footprint Media Group CEO Nick Fenwicke-Clennell said “the objective of Footprint Forum is to create an environment where the decision makers and influencers of this industry can come together to debate the issues, exchange ideas and benefit from the knowledge of others as we drive towards a more sustainable future for foodservice.”

The keynote address by chef Cyrus Todiwala MBE, concentrated on the huge problem of waste produced by the hospitality industry and how best to combat it. Todiwala’s multiple award winning restaurant, Café Spice Namasté is a showcase for sustainable practice. He is a highly vocal environmental campaigner and chairs the Waste Committee for London.

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Cyrus Todiwala speaking at Footprint Forum HMS Belfast 8th October 2009

Todiwala’s controversial take on the problem of waste is that collectors should pay operators to take it away, as happens in India. This would, said Cyrus, encourage people to segregate and conserve for recycling and save operators a fortune into the bargain. “In India newspapers, empty bottles, used clothes, pots and pans, old wood, scrap iron/steel, wood, aluminium, cardboard and cartons are all paid for by the waste collectors. People are very careful about how they store their valuable rubbish – scrap buyers come to your doorstep asking for rubbish to buy or exchange for new goods. I firmly believe that if India were a thousand miles closer to the UK I would become a millionaire just selling scrap from the UK,” he said. “The system we use in the UK is ridiculous and is the reason why there is no incentive for people to dispose of their useful rubbish effectively.

Restaurants and hotels pay hefty amounts to have their rubbish cleared away. Those of us who are environmentally conscious end up paying much, much more, thereby eliminating any incentive. The collectors, however, make massive profits since they sell on our rubbish by the tonnage and charge us for collecting it as well. “Waste disposal operators contracted by councils and other authorities should be made competitive. They should be made to collect free – if not actually to buy the rubbish. That way everyone would make sure they put their rubbish out as carefully as they can and not mix and pile it randomly. “Foodservice has to lead the way. Ideally, in five years time, if we all act collectively we will get manufacturers, producers and collectors all listening and doing exactly what we wish them to do which is to help us to create a zero waste community of end users,” said Todiwala.

He also went on to deplore the ‘unjoined up thinking’ afflicting many schemes designed to push sustainability. “There is a failure to communicate between initiatives and this leads to duplication of effort. There are several streams of Government funding going into several projects, the problem is no one knows about the various initiatives and often the organisations involved within those initiatives themselves don’t know what is going on and end up duplicating work someone else is doing.”

As Todiwala finished to applause from the delegates, the panel of experts chaired by Peter Backman of Horizons assembled to take questions from the audience. An expert on the structure and dynamics of the foodservice sector, and its supply chain in the UK and across Europe, Backman regularly speaks at conferences in North America and Europe.

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Footprint Forum Panel HMS Belfast 8th of October 2009

Responding to questions from the floor the general consensus of opinion from the panel was that although a lot has been done and improvement is ongoing it is just scratching the surface, not just on the problem of waste but also addressing other sustainable issue such as fishing, incentives for procurement both of energy efficient equipment and food and drink. The panel also echoed Todiwala’s concerns that there is no ‘joined up thinking’ from Government and there is a need for more incentives for operators to buy into sustainability.

Glenn Roberts of refrigeration giant Gram said: “The problem we see at Gram is that although the Government, in the form of the Carbon Trust, is doing good work promoting sustainability in the media it needs to understand ‘Catering plc’ better. The Carbon Trust’s Energy Technology List (ETL) lists 18,000 products in all that are eligible for Government tax breaks because they are ‘green’. In catering, only refrigeration figures on the list. Bearing in mind that refrigeration accounts for a mere 6 per cent of energy consumption in kitchens this is not enough, more equipment needs to be on the list. But first we need to know how energy is used in commercial kitchens. There needs to be a benchmark for prime cooking and other equipment. The catering Equipment Manufacturers Association (CESA) is currently lobbying the Carbon Trust and it is clear the Trust doesn’t understand the foodservice sector. As for manufacturers, we must listen to the market place. It is vital that we do this. Sustainable products are more expensive and very difficult to sell in the current climate.” Gram performed a survey of the industry two years ago and is now conducting another one to show the amount of change since then. The Gram Green Paper offers insight and statistical information on a range of areas such as operators’ interpretation of what green means to their business, as well as demonstrating personal green initiatives currently in place. It also highlights perceptions on cost/saving implications as well as which sectors could be doing more to ensure foodservice is an environmentally responsible industry. “The findings showed people are desperate to do something decisive. The market place can be bothered: they just want to be show how,” he said. “However, we have found there is a gap between what people say they want and what they do. The driving force is for the procurement department to save money. Joined up thinking doesn’t happen. If it costs £1400 to replace a refrigerator with an energy efficient version, they will go for the £900 option even though it uses 5-6 times more energy and will struggle to maintain temperature. It is very hard to get people to take that on board. After all, they may well be thinking that they may not be in business next year so why pay the extra?” he said. Thomas Jelly of Sodexo suggested that large companies that commit to sustainability should be ranked in a league table. He said that incentives in the form of tax reductions would get finance departments thinking hard and would get them behind the initiative.

Ian Booth, Technical Director of fresh food supplier Reynolds said: “In the public sector local government should set objectives such as the percentage of sustainability in procurement to be achieved whether it be in equipment, food – everything. The Government must do this to make it work. It will be interesting to see where that will go. Europe is telling Government to look at procurement.”

Mike Berthet, Director of Fish & Seafood, M&J Seafoods said: “It is disappointing that the Government has not set the pace. I raised this question with Hilary Benn recently at an open forum. The Government just hasn’t taken the lead. There should be two fish dishes on school menus per week and the fish should be from a sustainable source.” He had some good news to impart, however, telling delegates of positive initiatives taken by the fishing industry. One example he cited was that of seven boats out of Scotland now have video cameras rigged to the trawl so they can see what fish is being discarded. “One guy has a camera on the underwater trawl bar – if he sees they are about to catch cod when they are over quota they can simply reel in and start again. This is also invaluable, say, if they start fishing in an area with too many juvenile cod. They can pack up and move to another area. The area with the juvenile cod can then be closed to fishing for a month to allow stocks to grow.” Berthet also told delegates that we have the raw materials for producing fish feed for sustainable aqua culture literally on our doorsteps. “Ragworm can be farmed from any old detritus. There are billions of tonnes of that in London alone of that in London alone,” he said.

Ian Booth made the valuable point that there is confusion about ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ products with some people thinking they are the same thing: a comment that was greeted with agreement from the panel and the delegates.

Thomas Jelley said: “Sustainability is not about one product being local or one recyclable. We have to take in other individual components such as transport and put it all together seamlessly.”

Heidi Easby of Brakes warned that working out a long term strategy takes time and industry employees have their part to play, saying that it sometimes pays to start from basics. “To really try to change the ethos of people in business it is important not to just concentrate on mileage. It is possible to have day to day impact. At Brakes we have no bins at desks so staff have to walk to recycle points to chuck stuff away. This has reduced waste by 40 per cent. Big schemes may require financing but small things like this work well.”

“Smaller things persuade the industry to take responsibility. Why not ask staff what they want to do?” responded Jelley.

“What we do in the crunch to offset against a lower income will work in better times. This is a good time to make changes and when things get better everybody is used to it,” said Todiwala.

“Ultimately, the Government must set out standards to look at the bigger picture. Sustainability is ultimately win-win for everybody,” concluded Ian Booth, who seemed to echo the thoughts of most people at the event.

Charles Miers, Managing Director of Footprint Media Group reflected: “It is desperately sad that the industry, friend or foe, haven’t cooperated more. Seeing all these influencers under one roof, nevermind talking to each other is unheard of – we changed that today! Let’s hope that this might set the precedence going forward.”

Just form filling?

Posted in Comment,Food Miles,Sustainability,Sustainable Sourcing by foodservicefootprint on October 28, 2009

In a statement by Charles Clover on www.fish2fork.com regarding a bad rating the website initially gave two of Caprice Holdings’ restaurants, he writes: ‘We were previously critical of both restaurants [J Sheekey and Scott’s] for not providing enough detail in their online menus about the fish and seafood on offer’. It goes on to say ‘…we had to assess the two restaurants through what was available on their online menu’.

My initial thoughts were….hold on, if a restaurant does not supply the information required by the fish2fork team and does not make overt references to sustainability, local, organic, farmed etc on their communications, it thus gets badly rated? Does this reflect the reality of sourcing fish sustainably or is the website’s rating system flawed?

Caprice Holdings has challenged fish2fork.com and provided the required information. Consequently, the two restaurants’ ratings have subsequently been upgraded from red to blue.

Two espressos later I had to conclude that, yes, the industry is accountable. Yes, chef’s and restaurateurs are busy people but aren’t we all! With the threats that we are facing, it is foodservice’s duty to partake in such evaluations. Transparency is important and if certain aspects of sourcing need to be addressed within a business, it is these systems that will help restaurants to do so. www.fish2fork.com is not about naming and shaming, it is about leveraging restaurants to appraise their sourcing policies and sharing this information on the grounds that foodservice operations have a responsibility to the environment.

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