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30 ways food service and beverage service industries can be more sustainable

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30 ways food service and beverage service industries can be more sustainable

All good New Zealand food service and beverage service companies are taking steps towards being more sustainable. It's great to see the whole industry, from top end restaurants, to bars, pubs, cafes, takeaway outlets and juice bars, all attempting to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Why sustainability matters

Sustainable industry contributes to a balanced and healthy economy by generating jobs, revenues and taxes, whilst protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s resources.

McKinsey's research on the economic benefits of sustainability concluded that sustainability programmes are not only strongly correlated with good financial performance, they also play a role in creating it.

An emphasis on sustainability can also reveal opportunities for exciting new innovations. As we phase out single-use plastics, foodies 100% compostable and biodegradable rice straws is one such innovative example.

With growing consumer pressure on businesses to improve sustainability, changes to the ways in which businesses operate tend to be rewarded by a rise in popularity and sales. In the FMCG industry, for example, a study by Harvard Business Review found that brands marketed as sustainable were growing faster than traditional competitors.

Ways to be more sustainable

Food service and beverage service companies continuing to take steps towards greater sustainability always have sustainability goals to focus on, such as: 

  • Take advantage of seasonal product
  • Serve local and organic food, eg foodies NZ native herbs
  • Reduce food waste
  • Limit menu items
  • Store foods appropriately to extend their shelf life
  • Compost food waste
  • Be cognisant of where seafood comes from
  • Choose free-range meat and eggs
  • Look for wine producers offering biodynamic, carbon-neutral and organic wines
  • Partner with sustainable producers
  • Add more vegetarian and vegan options
  • Grow some of your own produce
  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Switch to energy efficient lighting
  • Install motion sensitive lights
  • Challenge staff to reduce usage by a little bit each month
  • Limit water waste
  • Recycle properly
  • Request suppliers don’t use Styrofoam packaging
  • Return packaging to suppliers
  • Ditch disposables
  • Use recyclable or compostable materials and products, such as foodies rice straws
  • Print on recycled paper
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning company
  • Upgrade equipment to be more eco-friendly
  • Green the supply chain
  • Provide discounts for people using reusable cups and containers
  • Train staff, perhaps taking them to local farms and vineyards so they can learn about the products they’re using and share their knowledge with customers
  • Publicise sustainability initiatives to generate revenue

Making any change takes effort, and greening your supply chain is a particularly big job, but making sustainable changes can improve your bottom line through lower costs, more customers and more sales.

Furthermore, it can help you attract and retain good staff. A survey by the Governance and Accountability Institute found that 40% of millennial respondents had chosen an employer because of their sustainability performance. When it came to retention, 70% said they are more likely to stay with a company that has a strong environmental reputation and policy.

What extra steps can you take towards being more sustainable that could benefit your business?

Order a free sample of foodies rice straws or order bulk packs of rice straws directly through your local distributor while you order your foodies extra virgin olive oil, flaky salt and New Zealand native herbs

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  • Pip Mehrtens