Sustainability on the menu at Bidfood Plate2Planet event

10/11/2017 - 10:15
Figureheads from across the foodservice industry came together at Bidfood’s Plate2Planet event last week to discuss current sustainability issues within their sectors.

A panel debate on the idea and future of ‘sustainable menus’ was made up of Wendy Duncan (Unilever), Andrew Stephen (Sustainable Restaurant Association), Ian Nutt (Soil Association), Mike Hanson (BaxterStorey) and David Jones (Bidfood).

The stakeholders were asked the question “how would they go about creating a sustainable menu” by host Shirley Duncalf, Bidfood’s head of sustainable development.

Jones, Bidfood’s director of technical services, said: “The first thing I think about when creating a sustainable menu is making sure all of the menu items have the nutrients required- micro and macro- to make sure he have sustenance. Far too often, unless you go outside the public sector, you don’t get that.

‘From there I would look to see how I could review those ingredients to ensure that I was actually obtaining and using the most sustainable items that are available.”

Nutt added: “There is an awful lot of standards out there that recognise elements around sustainability and we should be looking to maximise all of those marks and labels as much as we can, whether that is MCS or SRA or whatever.

“Our Food for Life Served Here scheme is in 50% of primary schools, but that means there is still 50% missing so there is a huge way to go. I think we should look to monopolise the existing schemes, labels and standards.

BaxterStorey’s head of sustainable business, Hanson, said: “If anybody wants to think about creating a sustainable menu, pick out the word sustainable and think what that means to you as an individual. The scope is limitless.

"This could mean anything from environment, governance, animal welfare. You should think about what your scope is and what you’re trying to achieve.”

Stephen agreed saying: “We cant all be the UN you have to find something authentic for your business and build something believable and make decisions around it. That is going to come a cost but it will build you a good story.”

The summit was a live version based on the Plate2Planet online resource for articles, best practice and discussion around sustainability in the foodservice sector.

Other speakers at the event held at The Crystal on London’s Royal Victoria Docks, included Wrap and FareShare.

Guests were invited to submit a sustainability pledge into a ballot box which could then be evaluated in 12 months time to see if they had been upheld.

Stakeholders from across the industry took part in the discussions including Plate2Planet partner, Delphis Eco, whose chief executive, Mark Jankovich, spoke about his company’s creation of the UK’s first 100% post-consumer-recycled (PCR) plastic bottle.

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