Sodexo fights food waste with kitchen programme to rescue wonky veg

Sodexo is clamping down on unnecessary food waste by launched its own ‘wonky veg’ initiative called ‘Wasteful to Tasteful’, which aims to reduce the volume of grade B fruit and vegetables being thrown away or left to rot.

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.

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

112 sites in Sodexo’s 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 said that reducing waste is a key priority for the business, reflected in its own ‘Better Tomorrow’ commitments and its goal to reduce food and drink waste by 20% in the UK as part of its agreement with WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 2025 and its recent commitment to WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, announced last week.

Catrin Thorndike, category and sustainable procurement manager for Sodexo UK & 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.”

The implementation of Wasteful to Tasteful also builds on Sodexo’s commitment to offer all consumers healthier lifestyle options by creating more plant-forward and plant-based meals.

For the last five years the company has worked with the WWF to create a range of plant-forward and plant-based recipes. Sodexo has pledged to procure 10% more veg by 2020 and 16% more by 2025.

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