Allanton Inn owner tells how we can all cut down on food waste
According to a recent WRAP food waste report, the hospitality industry throws away around 2.8m tonnes of food, but it doesn’t have to be that way, says Katrina Reynolds, owner of the Allanton Inn.
This week, she expressed her concerns on food waste, and how they approach it as a local establishment.
She said: “Reducing food waste is a good idea, but it’s quite a challenging thing to do. The first thing from our point of view as a business, is cost. You’ve purchased food and you don’t want to be throwing that away.
"Secondly, it’s storage. We don’t have the capacity to store food waste, so it’s about having tight controls in place.
“But the bigger thing is the environment. It’s about where the food waste is going because you don’t want it going to landfill. Food waste needs to be reduced, and it’s a big issue because it’s quite challenging as to how that can be done.”
The Allanton Inn prides itself on using local produce for the meals served in the restaurant, for multiple reasons.
Katrina explained: “All of our local suppliers, particularly our small producers, are all straight from the farm.
“All of our eggs, meat and pork products are delivered from farms just a few miles away and they only do small rounds of deliveries.
“The deliveries that we do get on big lorries, we try to reduce them to once a week. During Covid, they put a minimum spend on us, but we’re getting less and less of the big deliveries, which is helpful for the environment in the long term. But generally, using local suppliers means the food hasn’t travelled many miles to get to us.”
Katrina explained some of the measures they take in order to prevent food from being wasted in the restaurant.
She said: “The food waste we have is so minimal, it’s really just the things that you can’t eat.
“Occasionally, there’s bruised produce. So quite often if we have bruised fruit or vegetables
that we can’t serve to customers, we will turn them into soups or chutneys. We also make
jams if there is any fruit that can’t be served.
“I’m quite happy with the level of food waste that we have. Being involved in the business
and having a family of my own, any products or food that looks like it’s not going to be used
within the business, I take home for us to eat.”
Food waste isn’t only an issue with small establishments. Many bigger companies have
much more of an impact when it comes to food waste and the environment. Reynolds said:
“The bigger players need to be pulled into line, supermarkets as well. It needs to start with
them and then filter down to our level, the small business level.”
In terms of climate change, throwing out food is a big problem. But as Katrina points out, if
you manage things properly, it’s easier than you’d think to cut down your food waste.