Making a Stance to Fight Food Waste Problem in Thailand!
The first food waste-driven sustainability virtual event by Scholars of Sustenance Foundation, Thailand. Thank you for joining us in this event to bring solidarity to Thailand's food industry leaders to achieve ZERO Hunger, ZERO Food waste missions by 2030.
PANEL 1: Systematic Approach for Food Waste Reduction
This panel talks about a systematic approach to food waste prevention. Lotus's has settled that by 2030, they would produce zero food waste to landfills. They have started working with farms to make sure of the exact amount that they will buy and this would result in zero crop surplus. Lotus's is also the first retailer to join forces with SOS and has been our constant donor of food since 2018. The Federation of Thai Industries has recognized the need to earnestly push for SGDs and encourage to reduce 50% food waste by 2030. The Thai Food Processors Association (TFPA) has also advocated for the use of 3 Rs which are reduced, reuse and recycle. CPF has recently launched their ‘circular meal’ where they would be the main driving force in bringing surplus food which is packed with nutrients to communities; this at the same time is one of their strategies of managing surplus food. Wasteland cooks from surplus food where customers know what kind of ingredients are used, this is the way to have less food waste and a sustainable one. They also believe that food loss happens in every step while food waste happens after consumption. Therefore, they work with the people responsible for each step to reduce food loss and waste. The last participant is Moremeat, a plant-based food producer as the founder sees that the current food system is accountable to many problems such as food insecurity, consumer health, and environmental problems. This is the reason why their products contain nutrients, locally available ingredients and require little resources in growing. Hence, nothing is wasted in creating the products. All panelists shared the same concern that there should be more organizations with their aims and operations like SOS because of the lack thereof, the problem of food waste can never truly be extinguished.
PANEL 2: Building Engagement to Reduce Food Waste
2.1: Hospitality and Food Service Sectors
The main focus of this panel revolves around building engagement on the matter of food waste reduction in the service and hospitality sector. The mutual steps that every corporate in this panel took were to firstly identify the problem and educate their staff on the consequences of food waste and followed by analysing where they could adjust to make positive differences. The Hilton group has implemented the food-waste track technology whereby it could spot ‘waste’ products in their operations such as waste plates and excess buffet items. They also make use of incentive which in this case is their food waste management competition, with the engagement from their staff the company was able to derive some new creative ideas on how to tackle this issue. Yindii is an anti-food waste startup company where it connects consumers directly with restaurants and cafes that can create meals from ingredients that otherwise would go to waste which also includes unattractive ingredients with discounts to attract customers. Michelin Guide Thailand is working towards sustainable gastronomy, thus Michelin Green Star was created to identify role model restaurants that are actively committed to sustainable gastronomy philosophy. To build a wider impact Michelin Guide’s official website has a space to promote these role model establishments and chefs. Planet B Sustainability Agency was founded by chef Daniel Bucher together with his friend. One of their many projects was engaging small local restaurants in an in-depth class on how five-star restaurants handle food waste. All panelists agreed that education can without doubt boost people’s understanding of food waste because oftentimes they are associated with failure, which is still the biggest barrier we all have to overcome.
2.2: Business and School Sectors
For this panel, the perspective is from the Business sector and their ways of managing food waste and gathering engagement. SHB targeted education as their means of work. They also collaborated with SOS Thailand in donating excess food from schools namely Shrewsbury International School to be delivered through the Rescue Kitchen programme. theCOMMONS has its goal rooted in giving back to the community and spreading the eco-conscious philosophy. They have worked together with SOS and installed a ‘community fridge’ project where individuals can donate fresh ingredients and instead of wasting them, SOS will turn them into wholesome meals for those in need. Agoda is also yet another big company that has started with small steps such as ‘swapping food’ where employees bring foods that almost expire and exchange them with colleagues who may need them. They are currently working towards collecting a database of hotels that sell surplus food. In 2025, the Allianz Ayudhya aims to reduce GreenHouse Gas emission by 25% with their principle focus on waste management. The company also set up an incentive programme in which they reward those who donated or recycled waste. The Allianz Ayudhya believes that “ SDG starts on an individual level and it should start with us first”. The main discussion in this panel is how to keep the momentum going as evidently the number of participants and partners dropped year by year, the consensus was reached at the end and it was agreed that only the broader reach and higher engagement can keep up the good work.