Future Green at Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong 2023
Future Green team ready for the RBHK event! Woo, we are on the Main Stage this year.
What an honour it was for our CEO & Founder, Heidi Yu Spurrell, to curate and moderate a Future Green Panel Talk at this year’s RBHK show Main Stage, where we gathered some of our Members to highlight their environmentally conscious food businesses. Our lovely panellists included, Sandy Keung from ‘Table by Sandy Keung’, Nobin John from ‘Orka’, Samanatha de Mello from Hyatt Hong Kong’ and Pippo Au from ‘Maxims’.
It was such a lively and vibrant experience that aimed to offer the industry an overview of sustainable foodservice challenges through a seminar and panel discussion. What’s more, we were delighted to have been given the opportunity to present on the Main Stage – this really does show how sustainability is moving from a niche topic, into the mainstream.
Latest Trends in Food Sustainability
Before bringing in our panellists, Heidi started off with a presentation on the food system and ‘top 10 global food sustainability trends in 2023’ – our 20+ audience remained more than engaged.
With high emphasis on the trends of ‘antimicrobial resistance’ and ‘packaging innovation and reduction’, our audience picked up on a lot of insights. The audience was particularly shocked seeing the data that highlighted Hong Kong’s per capita meat consumption which is rising rapidly, placing it among the countries with the fastest growth rate. Many phones went up in the air as the audience started taking photos of the slide.
Other insightful questions were asked and of particular interest came one revolving around how much data is out there showing the proportion of products that is made up of ingredients that are not nutritionally beneficial. What an intellectual bunch with a progressive mind-set!
Heidi delivering the presentation
Panel Talk & Discussion
Then it was time for the panel talk! The discussion revolved around ‘How to Build a Food Industry that is Good for People and Planet’ with the objective being to ‘Share a local and regional perspective on how to tackle food sustainability issues in your business’.
Phew – this may sound like a mouthful but it was such a good discussion. By having a mixture of panellists from different sized businesses within the F&B industry (from independent restaurants to large chains and hotels), it was such a great way to hear insights from different perspectives.
From Sandy’s knowledge on local & seasonal ingredients in Hong Kong, Samantha’s honest insights on how more education is needed within the hotel industry to understand sustainability, Nobin’s perspective on how the community can make a difference and that focusing on wellness can get us far on our journey to Pippo’s business strategy in implementing a top-down approach to prepare the company for the government regulation on plastic & waste management, the audience heard an array of answers and wisdom.
Perhaps the common theme that was discussed among all four panellists was the journey of sustainability and how it should be your own and start somewhere, not worrying about what others are doing. Despite the hiccups and mistakes you may make along the way, if you’re focusing on your well-being, as Nobin said, you’re making a massive impact on sustainability.
To put it in perspective, as Sandy said, there may be 10 million things that you can do to become more sustainable, but focus on 3 things first then move along the next 3. It’s all about balance!
Finally, Heidi’s last question to all was about the misconceptions in sustainability. An interesting misconception that received a lot of nodding from the audience came from the misconception that sustainability has to be ‘expensive’. Pippo discussed how sustainability presents a business opportunity, highlighting that sustainable branding can be affordable and achievable by aligning teams around protocols and policies.
Panel discussion taking place!
Ending with a win!
As the panel talk drew to a close, we quickly wrapped things up with our raffle prize where the winner (Charles Kaderabek from Renaissance Hotel) won a voucher to Sandy Keung’s restaurant, Table’. With the winner announced and a loud ‘whoop’ from the winner himself, we ended the event on a high! With networking taking place right after with lots of positive feedback from the audience, it was truly an amazing way to end the day.
Our 3 key takeaways:
- Sustainability is a continuous journey.
- It’s your own journey and whatever steps you take, you are already making a difference.
- Collaboration and education are crucial.
- As recognised by all panellists, the panellists acknowledged that sustainability is not achievable alone and requires collective efforts.
- Mind-set shifts and embracing sustainability as a business opportunity.
- Our panellists encourage everyone to view sustainability as an opportunity rather than a burden.
Panel discussion taking place!
Interested in more?
6 steps to turning messy ideas into concrete next steps with The British Chamber of Commerce3rd November
From Healthy Kids Menu to Asian-Inspired Delights: SpiceBox Organics Revamps Catering Services, Championing Sustainability and Clean Eating in Hong Kong12th October