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SRA calls for action on climate change



The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has launched a new report to help the UK foodservice sector turbo charge its efforts to tackle climate change and environmental damage.


The Tastiest Challenge on the Planet evaluates sustainability in the UK foodservice sector with a review of what operators have done in 2018 and includes an assessment of the challenges ahead along with a three-pronged action plan for the industry for 2019.


The report follows a string of high-profile scientific reports that have highlighted the urgent need for action to keep the planet’s temperature rise below 1.5°C. Food waste and livestock farming account for more than 20% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions while foodservice still wastes almost one million tonnes of food and meat still dominates menus.


The SRA is challenging operators to act decisively now to reduce meat consumption and keep food on the plate and out of the bin. With foodservice now fully aware of the need to reduce packaging and specifically single-use plastic, the SRA has isolated this as the third target area.


Andrew Stephen, chief executive of the SRA, said: “The scale and urgency of the issues facing the planet are huge. We need to challenge what we call normal, or good enough in hospitality in the UK. While the industry is taking lots of small steps, they aren’t keeping pace with the scope of what is needed. It is no longer sufficient simply to talk about being a sustainable business without targeting bigger change on the biggest issues.”

The SRA believes that a more proactive approach would result in huge benefits, stating that if foodservice reduced food waste by a quarter, it could cut its carbon emissions by just under a million tonnes a year (0.9Mt) – equivalent to grounding more than 2,000 London to New York return flights.


Andrew adds: “The whole sector needs to act now, because if we don’t fix food, we can’t fix climate change. It’s time to seize the opportunity to embrace meaningful change towards a more restorative model, capturing customers’ desire for more sustainable menus, growing pressure from investors to see the businesses they have a stake in tackling the big issues and the environmental imperative to avoid climate catastrophe.”


The Tastiest Challenge on the Planet looks at more than 6,700 commercial kitchens and includes insights and ideas from the boardrooms of some of Britain’s best-known and most influential hospitality businesses like Azzurri Group and JD Wetherspoon, as well as from a handful of kitchens of influential chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Raymond Blanc.


Read the full report here and contact the SRA to discuss how you can start tackling the tastiest challenge on the planet.

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