What inspired you to support the Food Made Good Awards?
The Good to Go award is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the array of takeaways in the industry who work hard every single day to make sustainability an integral part of their business, promote best practice and ensure they do what they can to help our planet. The SRA helps restaurants with advice and support to help make sustainability part of the DNA of their businesses and we’ve been working with them since 2017, to do just that across the takeaway sector. We already know that there are many local takeaway out there that are doing what they can to ensure their businesses are as sustainable as possible and this is what inspired us to support the Food Made Good awards.
What sustainability issue do you expect to rise to the fore in 2020 and why?
We need to ensure that while we’re working hard to tackle one issue, we don’t lose focus on others. So for me, there are three key areas of focus.
In the last year, we’ve seen a huge number of positive actions from across the world taken to tackle plastic waste. Yet we know the recycling infrastructure in the UK and globally has its challenges – only 9% of plastic waste to date being recycled around the world. Which is why, at Just Eat, we’re putting our focus on finding credible and innovative alternatives to plastic packaging from working with Notpla to develop our seaweed based sauce sachets, to exploring viable alternatives to the plastic takeaway box.
Food waste is also a key focus for us. Many of our restaurant partners already team up with local food charities or carefully select the exact amounts of ingredients they need to do their bit to tackle food waste. Since 2017, we’ve been partnered with FoodCycle, a charity that combines surplus food to create tasty, nutritious meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation. However, while over a third of food produced globally is going to waste every year, food waste is, and will continue to be, an issue we need all need to address.
Finally, we’ve seen a huge rise in people opting for plant-based food. Between 2016 and 2018 orders for vegan and plant-based dishes increased by 388%. With animal agriculture being responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined, meat production continues to be a challenge for our environment. We’re seeing a change in consumer demand – more people are reducing their meat intake, opting for a healthier lifestyle, but also doing their bit to make our planet healthier too. And this will only continue into 2020.
How do you see the category you’re aligning with help accelerate positive change in hospitality?
The takeaway sector is perfectly placed to drive sustainability and help communities across the UK become more eco-friendly. Sustainability isn’t an either or – it very much goes hand in hand with customer loyalty and running a profitable business.
Many takeaways work extremely hard to ensure their businesses are as sustainable as possible, whether it is through responsible sourcing, managing food waste or engaging with the local community. By teaming up to help the takeaways we work with to make small changes, we believe we can make a big difference to the environment and our planet.