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Resource Efficient Scoltand Food Waste Reduction Workshop

The 1st of February 2018, I was lucky to get the chance to participate in a food waste reduction workshop, organised by Resource Efficient Scotland in Edinburgh.

It has been an enlighting and very informative experience. I got to familiarize with the “food landscape” of Scotland. I got some insight into the dynamics of Scottish food manufacturing and into some of the problems that it suffers from, especially regarding food waste:

  • 56% of food and drink manufacturing waste is estimated to be avoidable.
  • 75% of food waste in the Scottish hospitality and food services sector is avoidable.
  • Around 500g of food is wasted per each meal in the UK.

I also got to meet the other participants. All coming from Scottish food SME, like Border Biscuit, Edinburgh Beer Factory, Stoats among the others.

The workshop itself was optimally organised and very clear in highlighting the economic repercussion of food waste in  manufacturing and food service settings. Real life case and scenarios were presented as the case of Oatmeal of Alford that were able to substantially increase their revenue generation by enhancing the efficiency of their processes.

We then conducted a collaborative exercise where we assumed the role of a chilled pizza manufacturer that was experiencing substantial loss due to food waste. We learned how targeted interventions, which ranged from the taking of new technology to the power of (re)-training the employee, could vastly improve the overall performances of a food company.

Particularly noteworthy was the presentation of STEVE STEWART, co-founder of the Stewart Brewery, that gave us a brief account of how his enterprise came to be and presented his case study of how, with the consultancy Resource Efficient Scotland, they were able to make substantial savings and reducing waste:

The company was seeing 10 per cent losses in beer from draining excess yeast, the traditional way. Resource Efficient Scotland undertook an assessment of their processes and recommended they install a centrifuge, which would slash beer losses in half, down to 5 per cent. The company has now installed the centrifuge and is anticipating savings of £15,000 a year. The centrifuge installation will also relieve pressure on the limited size of their premises by reducing production time and improving equipment utilisation, therefore allowing the business to expand. […] “Installing the centrifuge enabled us to minimise our hop disposal and will facilitate an increase in our beer production. It was great to get some expertise from Resource Efficient Scotland to review our data and convince us that this was the right thing to do.” Steve Stewart, Managing Director of Stewart Brewing

The whole thing wrapped up with a exciting tour of the Stewart Brevery facilities and a taste of their beers.

I went for a mango IPA 🍻!

Categories: EventsFoodResearchSustainability