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Compass Group targets food waste with international day of action

  • Annual event sees Compass Group clients, suppliers and country teams come together to build partnerships with NGOs and charities, hold live cooking demonstrations, workshops and speaker events focused on more taste, less waste
  • Compass Group donated over 1,100 tonnes of food in 2020, equivalent to more than two million meals, across its core markets, to help local communities and reduce food waste during the pandemic

28 April 2021: Compass Group, a global leader in food service, today marks the fifth Stop Food Waste Day, an international day of action in the fight against food waste, collaborating with FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, and suppliers including Toast Ale, which makes award-winning craft beer brewed with surplus fresh bread. Compass Group also works with their clients throughout the world.

Launched by Compass Group USA in 2017, Stop Food Waste Day is an annual event to raise awareness of the issue of food waste and encourage the industry, from farm to fork, to reduce the amount of food thrown away. Working across over 45 countries in partnership with suppliers, employees and customers, Stop Food Waste Day aims to deliver meaningful solutions to address this global problem.

On the day Compass clients and country teams will come together, remotely or in-person where possible within Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, to focus on reducing food surplus and on building partnerships with charitable organisations around collecting and donating surplus food to local communities, as well as unit activities such as pop-up demos and chefs tables. Other activities include:

  • Live cooking demonstrations and workshops sharing tips and tricks to cut the amount of food thrown away
  • Speaker events, including a virtual panel in the US in partnership with Food Tank, featuring speakers from Google, Microsoft, the USDA Food Loss and Waste Liaison, as well as several non-profit organisations and influencers
  • Social media campaign using the hashtag #stopfoodwasteday to drive interest globally.

Dominic Blakemore, Chief Executive, Compass Group, said: “One third of all food produced globally is wasted every year, and as the world recovers from the pandemic, the issue of food waste has never been more important. As the global leader in food service, we have a clear role to play in driving permanent change across our industry. We know that the greatest impact is only possible by working alongside our brilliant suppliers, partners, clients and consumers across the 45 countries in which we operate. Despite this last year testing us all, our teams have remained focused on reducing food waste, but we know that much more is needed to make lasting, sustainable change. That’s why, today and every day, we continue to educate our teams and customers on how they can play their part in reducing food waste as we work to achieve a more sustainable future.”

Rob Wilson, Chief Toaster, Toast Ale, commented: “We’re proud to support Compass Group on this international day of action. We have worked alongside Compass over recent years to collect surplus bread from their supply chain that would otherwise go to waste, and brew it into our delicious planet-saving beers. Those beers are sold back into the Compass network and served to their customers, creating a circular economy.”

Mette Lykke, the CEO of surplus food app Too Good To Go, remarked: “We’ve established an excellent partnership with Compass Group in nine countries during the past four years, working with diverse brands and activities within the Group, and we continue to build on this with more Compass countries.  By working together, we’ve managed to save over 80,000 meals from the bin, equivalent to 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided, and we know we can do so much more as we strengthen this collaboration in the coming years.”

In 2020, Compass Group joined the US Food Loss and Waste Champions to commit to reducing its food waste by 50% by 2030. In the UK, Compass was one of 90 early adopters to commit to ambitious milestones laid out in the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap in 2018, a ground-breaking initiative developed by IGD and WRAP. Compass also recently partnered with WRAP for its inaugural Food Waste Action Week in the UK.

To achieve these ambitious targets, Compass is using waste technology management systems. For example, its in-house software Waste Not 2.0 has been rolled out across sites in the USA to measure, monitor and reduce food waste; in addition Compass partners with technology company Winnow, whose smart scales help their commercial kitchen teams track and avoid food waste. Since 2014, Winnow’s systems have helped Compass avoid over 2,900 tonnes of carbon emissions, saving more than 650 tonnes of food.

In the year ahead, Compass will continue rolling out food waste measurement technology across sites around the globe, helping the Group and its clients track progress on reducing food waste.

Compass’ other achievements include:

  • In partnership with Too Good To Go, Compass saved over 80,000 meals across nine countries, including the UK, Netherlands, France and Denmark, bringing a new service into numerous client sites, from corporate canteens to central kitchens, clinics and hospitals. Surplus food is being saved through “magic bags” being offered at a reduced price to consumers, to avoid the social, economic and environmental consequences of food waste.
  • In the UK:
    • Working with FareShare, Compass helped to save 235 tonnes of food, enough to provide over 558,000 meals for people in need – helping to support nearly 3,000 community groups, through breakfast clubs, food banks, and hostels
    • Created Super Yummy Kitchen, an online YouTube series that allowed education around cooking, food and nutrition to continue despite lockdown, in partnership with Compass’ celebrity chefs
    • Saved over 50,000 slices of surplus bread with Toast Ale, a business turning unwanted bread into a ‘planet saving beer’, and committed to saving one million slices in the future
    • Working alongside Rubies in the Rubble, which saves surplus food and vegetable produce by turning it into jam and other condiments, saved over 500,000 berries and 879,000 apples. 


Notes to Editors

About Stop Food Waste Day

Stop Food Waste Day is an international day of action in the fight against food waste, an issue which has been brought into even sharper focus by the Covid-19 pandemic. Roughly one-third of the food produced globally is either lost or wasted every year. Launched in 2017 by Compass Group PLC, the global leader in food service, on 28 April 2021 consumers, corporates and influencers across +30 countries will work together to raise awareness and inspire change around the critical issue of food waste.

About Compass Group

Compass Group PLC is one of the world's leading food services companies, which generated annual revenues of £20.2 billion in the year to 30 September 2020. It operates in around 45 countries, employs and engages around 550,000 people and serves over 5.5 billion meals a year. The Company specialises in providing food and a range of support services across the core sectors of Business & Industry, Healthcare & Seniors, Education, Sports & Leisure and Defence, Offshore & Remote, with an established brand portfolio.

Compass Group’s 2020 Corporate Responsibility report details the company’s activities and performance against targets. A link to the report is available here.