MEMBERS MONTHLY MEETUP – REDUCE FOOD LOSS & WASTE 10TH OCTOBER 2023
The Future Green team with Members at Orka
With the year almost coming to an end, Future Green threw their last Members Meetup at the finely-lit and well-polished interiors of Orka. This month’s Meetup focuses on a theme more tangible and accessible for everyone: Reduce Food Loss & Waste.
Nibbles and drinks for guests to enjoy
Cafe by day and fine-dining by night, Orka welcomed Members and guests to their wellness-based restaurant with nibbles, where co-founder Nobin believes that food is fundamental to our wellbeing, to take care of ourselves first then to take care of our planet.
Sustainable wine company SeaChange, who kindly offered the drinks for the Meetup, similarly highlighted the importance of making personal choices and actions on sustainability. Nicely echoing the Meetup theme, SeaChange believes that reduction and prevention are more urgent (than recycling) – crucial solutions compared to the creation of new (packaging) ones.
Nobin from Orka (left) and Andre from SeaChange (right) on their sustainability journeys
Waste No Good
Hong Kong has a significant food waste problem, with almost a third of it accounting for municipal solid waste and only 4% of the total food waste is recycled. The food waste per capita in Hong Kong in 2019 of 110 kg is on par with Asia’s average of 114 kg. In 2018, Hong Kong opened its first Organic Waste Treatment Plant – O Park – in Lantau Island but concerns remain regarding the enforcement of it, which is a recurring issue for most solutions on sustainability.
As important as it is to have government policies in place, businesses also play an important part in reducing food waste, as Future Green’s CEO Heidi emphasises. She further shares that fallbacks in tackling food waste can be addressed through nudges and defaults where food waste can be effectively managed without compromising food choices.
Heidi starting the Meetup
Elephant in the kitchen
Steven from Leanpath joining the Meetup from the US
In search of solutions for food waste, Steven Finn, the vice president of sustainability and public affairs at Leanpath, shares the work Leanpath does to help foodservice businesses by incorporating technology into food waste management.
He highlights that reducing food waste at the prevention level can eliminate 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions from food waste. One way to do this efficiently is by making food waste a highly visible issue in the kitchen – uncovering the elephant in the room. Though this is a difficult task, it can be easily tackled through the power of data. By tracking operations, discovering patterns, and driving results to leverage data, Steven and Leanpath believe that this is the paradigm shift needed to enable prevention of food waste more easily managed.
It is equally important to take action beyond measurements. By setting goals and alerts, reducing food waste in the kitchen will become more tangible and engaging for staff. Last but not least, engaging consumers in the process of creating changes is highly crucial to reflect on consumption behavior in restaurants, tackle plate waste, and educate consumers on the urgency of the issue and ways to get involved.
Steven setting the scene on food waste
And that’s a wrap
Following the end of Steven’s presentation, this year’s last Meetup comes to an end with Members continuing to catch-up and discuss the severity of food waste in Hong Kong, while savouring the delicious nibbles by Orka and the natural wines by SeaChange. Big thanks to Orka for hosting this month’s Meetup!
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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 Kong2nd October