Fighting food waste

photo Fighting food waste


Food wastage refers to any act of discarding foodstuffs that could have been consumed. Globally one-third of edible food intended for human consumption is lost or wasted. This wastage represents 1.3 billion tonnes of food annually, more than 160 kg per person and per year (FAO, 2012).


Food wastage in tourist facilities may stem from a number of factors: poor management of supplies and stock, food servings that do not match customers' appetites or tastes.


Action can be taken at several levels to reduce food waste.

  • PURCHASING > optimise orders and choose suppliers carefully
  • PREPARATION > draw up menus with care, recycle/recover unavoidable waste, maintain equipment in good condition, create special "anti-waste" offers
  • AWARENESS > inform customers and staff
  • STORAGE > conserve products properly
  • RECYCLING and REUSE > donate extra food* and sort waste


It may be necessary to purchase some small items (composter, extra waste bins, staff information posters) when implementing steps to reduce food waste.

Overall, however, reducing food waste tends to produce savings for establishments that develop this policy.


  • Ethical position: It is unacceptable to throw away edible food while hunger and famine persist in the world.
  • Environmental position: Food production consumes resources, and these are lost when food is wasted.
  • Economic gains: The less discarded, the less paid for waste management. It is increasingly common for local authorities and private waste management companies to base their rates on the amount of waste to be treated, i.e. the amount of waste produced by enterprises. Food waste is a cost for businesses in more than one way: firstly, the food is bought and then discarded, and secondly this waste must be treated.


Time-consuming to put in place, requiring reflection and rethinking certain internal practices