Catering CompaniesFood and Drink

Sodexo launches ‘wonky veg’ initiative to prevent food waste

As part of its commitment to prevent unnecessary food waste, services company Sodexo has launched its own wonky veg initiative, known as Wasteful to Tasteful, to help reduce the volume of grade B fruit and vegetables being thrown away or left to rot.

Grade B produce is vegetables which do not meet the necessary requirements in look and size for retailers.

With over 30% of crops never leaving the farm, Sodexo has joined forces with Waste Knot, an organisation committed to connecting businesses with surplus food and Ferryfast, a co-operative of farmers in Worcestershire, to introduce boxes of rescued fruit and vegetables, delivered in recycled banana boxes to Sodexo’s catering teams across the country.

Some 112 sites in its corporate services, universities, state schools, energy and resources and government services business areas are all receiving the weekly vegetable boxes and monthly fruit boxes.

Sodexo has named reducing waste as its key priority, reflected in its ‘Better Tomorrow’ commitments and goal to reduce food and drink waste by 20% in the UK as part of its agreement with WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 2025. Last week, it also announced a commitment to WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, announced last week.

Catrin Thorndike, category and sustainable procurement manager for Sodexo UK and Ireland said: “We are extremely excited to be able to use these vegetables which, apart from their look and size, still retain their nutritional value and delicious taste. The produce is perfect for use in a range of dishes including soups, stews and puddings as it really doesn’t matter what they look like before they are prepared and cooked.

“If we can demonstrate that our top chefs can create delicious and inspiring dishes using wonky veg then hopefully it will help encourage our customers to do the same at home.

Edwina Hughes, CR director for Sodexo UK and Ireland added: “Our Better Tomorrow roadmap sets out our commitments covering all impacts of the company’s business as it pursues its mission of ensuring a better quality of life for all. The roadmap addresses issues including waste and the health and wellbeing of those we serve.

“It is our aspiration to become the leading foodservice company in the plant forward movement and this initiative supports our efforts in this area.”

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