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Survey sheds light on food waste in the industry

Just under a third of event professionals admit to throwing away at least 15% of the food they commission at events, according to a new survey.

Lime Venue Portfolio conducted research in partnership with BCD Meetings and Events, comprising Chapter One of the Beyond Food Report.

The report puts a spotlight on the issue of food waste and encourages organisers to take steps to address it.

Other findings from the research were that 18% of event professionals admit to throwing away closer to 20% of all event food, and 2% claiming the amount exceeded 20%.

Among the types of food that are being wasted, salad accounts for just under 40%, breads at 16%, desserts at 13% and vegetable side dishes at 11%.

As well as highlighting the subject of food waste, the report also some top tips for avoiding it, such as bringing guests into the conversation from the outset.

It also suggested organisers need to get the numbers right, create new menu formats, go for plants first then meat, use everything at their disposal, get chefs out into the event, and share the numbers with delegates.

Jo Austin, sales director, Lime Venue Portfolio, commented: “Every day we hear about food shortages in the world, and we should be all playing our part to reduce food waste wherever we can. Event organisers are well placed to advise and support clients, caterers and venues with their food orders and work with them to tackle this issue.

“These findings are alarming but won’t be completely surprising to those who work in the industry. We all know too well how the fear of running out can lead to over-ordering, but these statistics lay bare the amount of food waste that is being generated, that could be prevented. As leaders in the events industry, I’m proud that Lime Venue Portfolio are bringing this issue to light and looking at practical and measurable ways to solve it.”

The report can be viewed online at this link