The business case for reducing food loss and waste in catering

02 July 2018

Caterers can expect to save £6 for every £1 they invest in food waste reduction initiatives, according to a new study.

The research carried out by WRAP and the World Resources Institute (WRI) on behalf of the Champions 12.3 initiative found a compelling business case for food service operators serving hospitals, schools, sports arenas and other facilities to reduce food waste in their operations.

Researchers analysed data of pre-consumer waste from 86 catering sites, located across six countries. They found that within one year the sites had reduced food waste by 36% on average, and 64% had recouped their investment.

By the end of year two, 80% of the sites had recouped their investment; while by the end of year three, the average benefit-cost ratio for food waste reduction was more than 6:1.

Key strategies for achieving food waste reduction were to measure the food waste, engage staff, start small, reduce food overproduction, and repurpose excess food, according to the report.

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Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation