Hospitality and Food Service Agreement serves up more savings

17th December 2015

Building on its strong start, signatories to the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement (HaFSA) report good progress against both targets after two years of the voluntary agreement.

Today’s second interim note published by WRAP, shows signatories achieved a reduction in CO2e emissions of 3.6% in 2014 relative to the baseline year, putting them well on the way to achieving the waste prevention target. This looks to reduce the amount of food and associated packaging waste arising by 5% by the end of 2015, and is measured by CO2e emissions. An estimated 30,000 tonnes less CO2e and 15,000 tonnes less waste were reported than in the baseline year. The estimated cost saving from reducing food waste alone was £3.6 million, while the amount of surplus food redistributed has continued to rise, increasing by 47% to 528 tonnes.  

There has been a good performance against the waste management target, with a continued rise in recycling of food and packaging waste. The combined recycling rate rose from 45% to 57% at the end of year two, which is a twelve percentage point  increase – but there is still some way to go to reach the target by end of 2015. This aims to increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste recycled, sent to AD or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015.

Dr Richard Swannell, Director of sustainable food systems at WRAP, said “These achievements are the result of a lot of hard work by many people, and a huge undertaking by the sector over two years. The targets require real effort, so it’s great to see signatories performing well against both. Given this performance, I’m sure the final results will set a solid foundation for The Courtauld Commitment 2025.”

Resources Minister Rory Stewart said, “From big business through to the weekly shop – we all have a role to play in reducing food waste.

“It’s great to see progress being made by the hospitality sector - I want to encourage the whole food and drink industry to get behind our renewed push to reduce all waste – The Courtauld Commitment 2025.

“This is not only crucial for our natural environment, but our economy too – no food should go to waste.”

The Agreement includes food waste generated by hospitality and food service businesses. It also includes packaging associated with the delivery of food and drink into the sector, including primary, secondary and tertiary packaging.

Momentum behind the HaFSA continues to grow each year, helping drive real change on the ground.  A lot of collaboration has taken place with signatories and supporters to tackle waste and increase recycling rates across the sector. This includes developing online training resources for the Hospital Caterers Association and Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, to many other resources produced for the sector including online training materials for making the most out of the food bought and improved menu planning, to guidance on understanding legislation to prevent food waste.

Signatories have been piloting approaches to prevent waste and the results shared across the sector; such as Sodexo - monitoring and measuring; Brakes - outlining waste prevention opportunities and Compass - promoting initiatives around Front of House packaging. Signatories have also been reviewing their waste management contracts to improve recycling rates.

Notes to editor

  • HaFSA progress note infographic
  • HaFSA progress note
  • Supporting quotes
  • The HaFSA is a voluntary initiative supporting the sector in reducing waste and increasing recycling. It is flexible to allow any size organisation to sign up from multi-national companies to SMEs; and from sector wholesalers and distributors to trade bodies. Supporters of the agreement have also continued to help towards the targets through the development and sharing of good practice. The Agreement was launched in 2012 and concludes in December 2015.
  • At the launch of the HaFSA there were 70 signatories and supporters covering 14% of the UK sector, by food and drink sales. Overall sign up has grown and there is strong support from across the sector for this Agreement. There are now nearly 230 leading signatories and supporters covering around 25% of the UK sector by food and drink sales including distribution.
  • There are two targets which are owned by WRAP and collectively delivered by signatories. The interim report highlights progress made against these targets and is based on information submitted by signatories.
  • Prevention Target: To reduce food and associated packaging waste arising by 5% by the end of 2015. This will be against a 2012 baseline and be measured by CO2e emissions saved. 
  • Waste Management Target: Increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste recycled and sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015.
  • While redistribution of surplus food is not a separate target of HaFSA, WRAP has monitored and engaged with industry to help increase redistribution. 
  • This note presents an estimate on progress made based upon data from signatories. WRAP modified the analysis to account for food and packaging material reported as mixed waste. Direct comparisons between the first year progress note and this cannot therefore be made. The final results for the full 3 years of the HaFSA will be published in 2016. 
  • Future work with the hospitality and food service industries will be undertaken as part of the Courtauld Commitment 2025, which will build on HaFSA, the Courtauld Commitment grocery sector agreement, and the Product Sustainability Forum (PSF). It will launch in March 2016. 
  • 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. @WRAP_UK
  • Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through: 
  • a. re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,
  • b. re-thinking how we use and consume products, and
  • c. re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling
  • 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. Registered office at Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 5BH.

Ian Palmer

PR Officer, WRAP
01295 819 677