The European hospitality industry teams-up with METRO AG and European Food Banks to fight against food waste

28 October 2016

HOTREC is the European trade association of hotels, restaurants and  cafes

Today, HOTREC, the European trade association of hotels, restaurants and cafes, METRO AG and the European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA) signed a Framework Agreement through which they undertake to cooperate to contribute to reducing food waste and further engage in food donations.

Through this Framework Agreement, HOTREC, METRO AG and FEBA will share their respective expertise and best- practices on the reduction of food waste and will work on guidelines to help businesses wishing to partner with local food banks.

"At a time when the European Union is reflecting on the best way to reduce food waste throughout the food chain, this framework agreement is a concrete example of how stakeholders can partner to reduce food waste flows, while encouraging charitable donations" explained Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.

"Building cooperations and sustainable partnerships with the various constituents of the communities we live in is at the heart of our dual mission of alleviating food poverty and combating food waste. The framework agreement announced today between HOTREC, METRO and FEBA is a promising example of how trade associations together with their suppliers will engage with food banks in Europe to tackle food waste in the hospitality sector while delivering real benefits to the most vulnerable people in our societies" commented Mr. Patrick Alix, Secretary General of FEBA.

"As international food retailing company food waste reduction is a topic of major concern and close to our heart. METRO is very pleased to deepen collaboration with our partners HOTREC and FEBA and to share our experience and best practices with regard to food waste reduction measures along the value chain and in particular supporting our professional customers" commented Ms. Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director for Corporate Responsibility at METRO.

This framework agreement shows that the hospitality industry is deeply committed to minimise food waste as much as possible, as part of its societal responsibility. This is even more remarkable since the European hospitality industry is a small food waster compared to the other components of the food chain, as food services (a category which cover not only restaurants but also party catering, contract catering in hospitals, schools, public institutions, etc.) only generate 12% of the total food waste in Europe1.


1 According to the FUSIONS report "Food waste data set for EU-28”, households generate 53% of the total food waste, the processing industry 19%, food services 12%, the primary production sector 11%, and the retail/wholesale sector 5%.


What is HOTREC?

HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level. This industry includes around 1,8 million businesses, of which 99% are small and medium sized enterprises (91% of them micro enterprises, i.e. employing fewer than 10 people). These businesses make up some 59% of industry value added. The hospitality industry provides some 10.2 million jobs in the EU alone. Together with the other tourism industries, the sector is one of the largest industries in Europe. HOTREC brings together 43 national associations representing the sector in 30 different European countries.

What is FEBA?

The European Federation of Food Banks(FEBA), is a non-profit organization which brings together 271 food banks in 23 countries in Europe which collect food, a large part of which would otherwise be thrown away, and redistribute it to charitable organizations and social centers (more than 33 000) which support people in need (5,7 million in 2015).

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