According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the hospitality industry and food service sector are among the largest contributors to food waste in the UK. Food spoilage accounts for 21%, food preparation for 45%, and uneaten food for 34% of the sector’s waste.
Stop Food Waste Day (April 26th) aims to increase awareness and encourage global efforts to meet the targets of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. At Camm & Hooper, we are committed to conducting business in a responsible and ethical manner that benefits our stakeholders and the wider community. We strive to minimise our environmental impact by implementing sustainable practices and reducing waste, energy, and water usage. We also invest in education and employment initiatives in our local communities and ensure that our suppliers operate ethically and sustainably.
We recently spoke with our Group Head Chef, Cristina Maia, about our efforts to reduce food waste in our kitchens. Cristina believes that sustainable practices should be adopted as a shared mentality by everyone, from clients to the kitchen. To achieve this, everyone needs to be educated on the subtle changes that can be made to reduce food waste.
How does Camm & Hooper combat food waste in their kitchens?
We believe effective communication is key to reducing food waste in our kitchens. We work closely with our curators, chefs, and clients to ensure we don’t over-order ingredients. To achieve this, we ask our clients to confirm their numbers and dietary requirements ten days before their event. We also believe that sustainability shouldn’t be limited to the kitchens, it should be embraced by everyone.
We do our best to minimise waste by creating zero-waste products using leftover fruits and vegetables. These include fermented and pickled goods, jams, chutneys, and other innovative ways to preserve our food and make it last longer.
Where does Camm & Hooper produce come from?
Camm & Hooper takes pride in sourcing its produce from reliable, sustainable, and primarily UK-based suppliers. We closely work with our suppliers to obtain locally-grown, seasonal ingredients, which helps us minimise our carbon footprint. Whenever we need additional ingredients, we turn to Borough Market or local farmers to secure high-quality, responsibly-sourced products.
What’s your go-to recipe for reducing food waste each week?
We like getting creative with leftovers and making chutneys or pickling veggies for a longer fridge life. Plus, we make dishes that use up any ingredients we have on hand to feed our people.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the kitchen?
It’s so important to prioritise quality over quantity. We create a lot of food stations where food waste is inevitable as it’s much more difficult to judge how much people will want to eat on the day. In these cases, we make sure we are monitoring how fast the food is being consumed so we can be on hand to top up if necessary. Making food to order is not easy when it comes to large event groups, so we just need to make sure we are all really on the ball with only making food people want to eat.
What are your plans for becoming more sustainable?
Being sustainable with our food is about thinking outside of the kitchen and everyone should take responsibility for learning how to be eco-friendly. Not everyone has this mindset, so it’s great to see what others are doing to remind us that we can make a change by educating ourselves.
My idea for the future is to have a micro herb garden. It’s a practical and sustainable approach to growing our own ingredients. I’m always on the lookout for new green practices to adopt, and I think small changes can have a big impact.
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