Welsh hospitality and food service sector could save £5 million a year

15th August 2012

Brains and Castell Howell first Welsh businesses to pledge to cut waste

Hospitality and food service businesses in Wales could collectively save up to £5 million a year by reducing the amount of waste they produce and recycling more1. That’s the message from WRAP Cymru (Waste & Resources Action Programme), which, together with Carmarthenshire’s Castell Howell Foods and pub chain S.A Brain and Co. Ltd, is calling on Welsh businesses of all sizes to make a commitment to do something about their waste.

The two companies are the first Welsh signatories of a UK-wide voluntary agreement designed to help hospitality and food service businesses build on the work they have already done in preventing waste, recycling more and saving money. Welsh supporters2 include the Millennium Stadium and the Welsh Government, while the agreement is also backed by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Wales.

Welsh Government Environment Minister John Griffiths said:

“The Welsh hospitality and food service industry has already done a lot to reduce its waste and recycle more, and I want to acknowledge its good work. This UK-wide agreement will help more businesses prevent waste, manage unavoidable waste sustainably and save money, in line with the ambitions set out in our Towards Zero Waste strategy and draft Food Manufacture, Service and Retail sector plan.

“Hospitality, tourism and food service businesses play an important role in our economy, which is why WRAP Cymru and the Welsh Government are working closely with Welsh industry bodies and with businesses, to ensure that the Agreement meets their needs. I would like to wish the Agreement every success and urge businesses across Wales to follow the example of Castell Howell, Brains and the Millennium Stadium in becoming signatories.”

The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement was developed by WRAP in conjunction with the Welsh, Westminster, Scotland and Northern Ireland governments and working closely with industry, after it found that every tonne of avoidable food waste – that is, food which could have been eaten – costs a business £1,8003. The aim is to reduce food and associated packaging waste by 5 per cent by 2015 and ensure that at least 70 per cent of food and packaging waste from the sector is recycled, treated by anaerobic digestion (AD), or composted by 2015.

One of the ways in which businesses can do this is by working with other companies in their supply chain, as Castell Howell and Brains have done. Castell Howell Operations Director Matt Lewis said:

“Castell Howell Foods recognise our commitment and responsibility to the environment and are proud to be one of the first Welsh signatories to the WRAP Hospitality and Food Service Agreement. We will take an holistic view of the supply chain and will identify key suppliers to work with ourselves and one of our major accounts, Brains, to minimise waste in the hospitality sector.”

Jill Matthews, Head of Retail Marketing at Brains, added:

 “Brains is pleased to pledge our commitment to the WRAP Hospitality and Food Service Agreement.  We will foster realistic and sustainable working practices and work with our suppliers, such as Castell Howell Foods, to minimise our waste production and impact on the environment.”

The agreement is open to businesses of all sizes, based throughout the UK. Here in Wales it will also provide the framework for the introduction of a bespoke package of support for the Welsh hospitality and food and drink sectors.  WRAP Cymru’s Hugh Jones explains:

“Businesses of all sizes from right across Wales can benefit from the savings which can be made by reducing food and packaging waste.

“By signing the Hospitality and Food Service Voluntary Agreement they can not only pledge to do their bit to prevent waste and recycle more, but take advantage of the support and online resources that are available.  We are also in the process of developing additional support tailored specifically for the sector in Wales, which we’re planning to announce in the autumn.

“It’s great that two big home-grown Welsh names like Castell Howell and  Brains are among the founding signatories and I’m looking forward to working closely with them. I also want to encourage other Welsh businesses large and small to get in touch and find out how they can benefit too.”

Businesses interested in finding out more can contact Hugh on 029 2044 8090 or hugh.jones@wrap.org.uk

1 – Based on associated food and packaging waste analysis for food service, pubs, restaurants, hotels and quick service restaurants
2 - A supporter is a business which does not itself provide hospitality or food services, but instead uses a third-party to deliver such services
3 –Source: The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry, WRAP, July 2011

Image L to R: Jill Matthews, Head of Retail Marketing, Brains; Hugh Jones, Hospitality & Food Service Key Account Manager, WRAP Cymru; Matt Lewis, Operations Director, Castell Howell; Edward Morgan, Account Manager, Castell Howell.

WRAP’s vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency.

Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. More information about work in Wales can be found at www.wrapcymru.org.uk

The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement was developed by WRAP on behalf of the Welsh, UK, Scottish and Northern Ireland governments. For more information about the Agreement and details of all signatories and supporters across the UK visit http://www.wrapcymru.org.uk/content/hospitality-and-food-service-agreement-3

Quote from Dr Liz Goodwin, WRAP CEO:

“Tackling food waste brings significant financial and environmental benefits, as already demonstrated through our work on household food waste and within the Courtauld Commitment. I am therefore delighted that so many organisations have signed up already to the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, and we continue to urge businesses, large and small, to sign up.”

Case study

Castell Howell Foods has a history of waste prevention and sustainable waste management success. Between 2009 and 2010 it reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill from 284 to 110 tonnes and in September 2010 it opened a recycling unit where customers can take their kitchen waste.

Since March 2012, Castell Howell Foods has been working with The ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS) at Cardiff University, farmer-owned red meat company Celtic Pride and food service company Brains on the Negotiating Sustainability in Food Service Led Food Supply Chains project. Focusing on the red meat supply chain in Wales and the South West, this project will have a direct benefit to the supply chain by highlighting and stimulating sustainability gains as well as contributing to overall capacity building throughout the chain. Findings will be used to develop both policy and business-oriented recommendations which will focus on the benefits - and challenges - of supply chain approaches to food sustainability and the potential economic cost benefits to business.


Hugh Jones

Key Account Manager - Food & Drink Wales
07809 092897