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Wellcome Collection fights food waste at events

Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 18:15

As part of its commitment to prevent unnecessary food waste at events, Wellcome Collection, one of London’s most innovative venues and event spaces, has partnered with Waste Knot in order to reduce the volume of fruit and vegetables being discarded for cosmetic reasons.

Wellcome Collection through their in-house caterer Restaurant Associates has joined forces with Waste Knot, an organisation committed to tackling and reducing food waste in the hospitality industry, to introduce boxes of surplus fruit and vegetables to the kitchen. The produce is delivered in recycled banana boxes which further adds to the circular notion of reusing and recycling.

The fruit and vegetables provided by Waste Knot, which often end up in landfill due to not meeting cosmetic standards, will be used to create plant-forward event menus that showcase seasonal British produce.

Daniel Caleb, Event Spaces Manager at Wellcome Collection, comments: “We are constantly striving to reduce our environmental impact and this latest initiative is particularly exciting. Apart from the size and shape often being a little unusual, the fruit and vegetables supplied by Waste Knot are perfectly edible and are equally as delicious and nutritious as its ‘perfect’ counterpart. By proving that we can create the same delicious dishes using imperfect produce, hopefully we can encourage some of our delegates and visitors to pick up their own ‘wonky’ fruit and veg next time they’re at the supermarket and help tackle the widespread issue of excessive food waste. We are delighted to be able to launch the partnership at the NHS Climate Summit today (3 October).”

Reducing waste is a key priority for Wellcome Collection and the Waste Knot partnership is just the latest in a series of initiatives to tackle the issue. Since 2017, Wellcome Collection has used Winnow, an electronic measuring system which weighs and records all discarded food products resulting in food waste being reduced by 50%. Wellcome Collection also works with Restaurant Associates to monitor and measure the interunit packaging for all deliveries in an effort to reduce unnecessary packaging. As a result of this, the way fresh fruit and vegetables are delivered has changed, swapping plastic for reusable cardboard carriers which the company collect on the next delivery. Wellcome Collection has won the bronze award in this year’s London Venue Awards, in the category of Best Sustainability or CSR Initiative.