New research study launched by Oxford Brookes University to examine food wastage and ways to reduce

Food at Oxford Brookes University

A new research survey led by Oxford Brookes University aims to find ways of tackling food waste in the hospitality industry.

Researchers from Oxford Brookes Business School, working in partnership with consultancy business Shared Planet, hope to find out more about the attitudes of local businesses to food waste disposal, how they currently deal with it, and what can be done to reduce it.

In the UK, it is estimated that hospitality businesses generate 920,000 tonnes of food waste each year, 75% of which is avoidable and costs businesses valuable money. [1]

Partnership working to reduce food waste in Oxford

Dr Karen Cripps, Senior Lecturer in Leadership at Oxford Brookes Business School, said the results of the survey could help more businesses to reduce food waste and save money. 

Dr Cripps said: “There are many examples of local businesses carrying out innovative food waste reduction and re-purposing solutions, and by raising awareness and sharing these good practices, this research contributes to addressing both improved environmental impact and cost savings. The results will be shared with the business and academic community as part of addressing sustainable food systems. By understanding how local businesses address food waste it can help us all learn about food rescue and reducing unnecessary food waste in our community.”

Businesses taking part in the survey  will answer questions including how they prioritise their food waste, which products are wasted the most, how they track food waste, and whether they feel they can do more to combat the problem. 

Arielle Rosenthal of Shared Planet added: “We are proud to be partnering with Oxford Brookes on this important survey which we hope will provide different data points that will help the local hospitality industry to learn from one another and share learnings, and ultimately change the way we think about food waste.”

The results of the survey, called ‘Hospitality, Food Waste and Rescue’ will be presented at an event taking place at Oxford Brookes University’s Headington campus on 22 February. The ‘Fair Trade and Sustainable Food’ event is open to the public and will feature a range of informative stalls and activities. 

Also at the event, there will be a panel discussion featuring sustainable food organisations in Oxfordshire, including  Waste 2 Taste, Good Food Oxfordshire, Oxford Food Hub, Replenish Oxfordshire , SOFEA Community Larder and Oxford City Farm.  

Dr Cripps added: “We are also delighted to be working with a range of community partners involved in growing and cooking food sustainably, distribution as part of a sustainable food system, and climate action through food production and consumption.” 

More information about the panel discussion and to register to attend.

A competition for students at universities across London and the South East of England, hosted by Oxford Brookes University, is also being held on Instagram as part of a campaign called Love Student Leftovers. Students can submit their own recipe ideas for leftovers, with £300 in cash prizes up for grabs. The competition closes on 14 February with the winners will be announced on 22 February. Follow the Instagram page for more information.

Note to Editors

The University is hosting the campaign as part of the United Nations initiative Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) which aims to raise awareness of sustainability in educational establishments around the world.

[1] Refood (2017) Hospitality food waste: The facts, figures and the way to save, ReFood.