Founded in 1928 in Paris, The World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WorldChefs) is a dynamic global network of over 100 chefs associations representing the spectrum of chefs across the myriad of levels and specialties. The venerable August Escoffier served as first Honorary President.
In alignment with its mission, WorldChefs creates impact within four key areas: education, networking, competition, and humanitarian & sustainability. Within the humanitarian & sustainability focus area, Feed the Planet and World Chefs Without Borders programs relieve food poverty, deliver crisis support, and promote sustainability across the globe.
|Chef delegate group photo @|
2018 WorldChefs Congress & Expo
The 2018 Congress celebrates 90 years of empowering chefs through education, competition, and camaraderie.
Feed the Planet
Feed the Planet is a WorldChefs initiative designed to inspire sustainable food consumption among communities and professionals. In addition, Feed the Planet supports people in need through emergency relief, food poverty alleviation, and education. Founded in 2012, Feed the Planet is powered in partnership with Electrolux and AIESEC, an international, apolitical, independent and not-for-profit organization, run by students and recent graduates eager to build positive social change.
The WorldChefs Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals course is a Feed the Planet initiative that teaches chefs how to think and act sustainably, to lead positive change for the planet, and improve profitability in the kitchen; the course is a cost-free WorldChefs member benefit.
Working closely with Feed the Planet Committee Chair Chris Koetke, Elemental Impact (Ei) provided the sustainability course's waste & recycling curriculum. The RiA Blog article, Sustainability: a matter of thinking critically & solving problems in an adaptive manner, gives an overview of the course during its development stage.
|Chef Koetke introducing the|
Feed the Planet program
After he opened the Feed the Planet session with a brief initiative overview, Chef Koetke introduced Paul Newnham with the SDG2 Advocacy Hub and Feed the Planet Day Host. The SDG2 Advocacy Hub coordinates global campaigning and advocacy to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: To end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030, or simply zero hunger.
In his opening remarks, Paul introduced The Chefs' Manifesto, a written declaration co-created by over 130 chefs from 38 countries through online outreach and a series of workshops. The Global Goals for Sustainable Development (also referred to as SDG), the seventeen goals decided upon in 2015 by world leaders for a better world, was the foundation for developing a manifesto action plan.
The Chefs' Manifesto Action Plan includes the following eight areas the chefs were passionate about tackling:
- Ingredients grown with respect for the earth and its oceans.
- Protection of biodiversity & improved animal welfare.
- Investment in livelihoods.
- Value natural resources & reduce waste.
- Celebration of local & seasonal food.
- A focus on plant-based ingredients.
- Education on food safety& healthy diets.
- Nutritious food that is accessible & affordable for all.
Once complete with his The Chefs' Manifesto presentation, Paul moved into his Feed the Planet Host role with an introduction to Rochelle Schaetzl, Nestle Professional Business Capability Development Manager, for her Ensuring a Sustainable Future for the Culinary Profession segment. Rochelle opened with challenges facing the hospitality industry ranging from the lowest paid workers to the highest employee turnover to recent chef suicides.
Within her presentation, Rochelle shared integrated WorldChefs programs designed to build a sustainable future for the culinary profession. The various programs attract | recruit future chefs and develop | retain existing chefs. In 2017, the International Chefs Days was a tremendous success with over 4,700 chefs from 55 countries educating 37,800 children globally on the culinary profession. Other successful programs include the WorldChefs Academy, YoGuTa, Nutripro and WorldChefs Partnership.
Global Food Waste | Hunger Crisis
Following Rochelle, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Digital Engagement and Partnerships Lead Frances Simpson Allen gave an empowering presentation on The UN World Food Programme: Saving Lives, Changing Lives. Frances grounded the crisis with the following global facts:
We produce enough food to feed approximately 9 billion people each year.
Of the 4 billion metric tons of food we produce each year, one third is wasted, costing the global economy nearly $750 billion annually.
1 in 9 people goes to bed hungry every night.
Aligning with their "feed hungry people" mission and zero hunger goal, the WFP deploys 5,000 chartered trucks on roads, 92 chartered planes in the air, and 20 chartered ships at sea DAILY for providing food to hungry populations. With more than 80% of their resources dedicated to conflict environments, in 2017 WFP fed over 91 million people in 83 countries. In 2018 WFP intends to feed 124 million people.
To engage consumers and chefs, WFP launched the four-step Recipe for Disaster social media campaign:
- Open your fridge and grab any ingredients that are close to their "use by date."
- Create a meal using those ingredients (and any others you may need to create your dish.)
- Share your video or pictures using #RecipeForDisaster and nominate three friends to create their own by tagging them.
- Make a donation to WFP and help us reach our target of Zero Hunger by 2030.
|WFP food delivery|
photo courtesy of WFP
Frances ended her thought-provoking presentation with a call-to-action for chefs to reduce waste in their own kitchens, use their influence to change expectations, behavior, and tastes, to train the next generation, and push the boundaries of what’s acceptable or desirable or profitable.
Bringing a local flavor to a global challenge, Food Aid Foundation (FAF) Founder & CEO Rick Chee educated on Connecting the World of Waste to the World of Wants. FAF is a Malaysian-based tax-exempt non-profit organization that serves as a food bank and provides food to charitable homes and the underprivileged population. As a seasoned entrepreneur and business owner with a strong background in foodservice facility planning and logistics, Rick is well connected within the hospitality community. Rick uses his connections to educate on waste and secure donations for the FAF food bank.
The global dire food waste facts support Rick's statement:
We are running a rotten food system.
Rick's presentation was filled with a plethora of images documenting the tremendous impact FAF has on the local population. A strong team player, Rick provided donated wasted food from local sources for the Retaste – Reimagining the Flavour of Waste demonstration and presentation by Ruth Osborne and Christopher (Chris) Ekman of Pauls Kok + Retired Hen up next on the agenda.
Addressing Food Waste, one kitchen at a time
In her opening slides, Ruth gave an astonishing global fact:
If it was a country, food waste would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter after China (#1) and the United States (#2).
According to Ruth, Retaste is a movement; Retaste is a verb; Retaste challenges the public and chefs to view waste as an opportunity to shift perceptions and reimagine what is flavorful, what can cook well, and what we SHOULD use; Retaste is a temporary restaurant owned and operated by Ruth and Chris that receives donated food waste from local retail stores for their menu preparation. Since it is permitted restaurant, Retaste must abide by local health safety regulations related to food preparation and service.
|Image courtesy of ReTaste|
While Ruth presented, Chris prepared impromptu, amazing dishes from the donated food provided by Rick. Chris' on-stage culinary ingenuity was impressive.
Ruth ended her presentation with a profound quote by Douglas McMaster: “Food waste is the failure of the imagination.”
Following Ruth and Chris, Ei Founder & CEO Holly Elmore presented on The Profitability of Waste: the business case for food waste reduction. After a quick overview of the successful Zero Waste Zones 2009 launch in Atlanta, GA, Holly shared a recipe for food waste reduction success. In addition, Holly outlined the basics of where and why back-of-the-house food waste is generated.
Through four powerful case studies, Holly emphasized key ingredients for success: zero waste is a team sport, keep it simple, keen awareness is a necessity, and take baby steps, lots & lots of baby steps. Holly's overall message:
A well-run kitchen generates minimal waste!
The RiA Blog article, The Profitability of Waste: the business case for food waste reduction, gives an overview of Holly's presentation with an emphasis on the case studies.
Take the Challenge!
Rounding out the formal presentations, Electrolux Vice-President Corporate Communications Ingrid Yllmark and Social Investment Junior Project Manager, Electrolux Social Responsibility Ekaterina Trofimova shared how You can Make Difference. With each meal, an individual gets a vote on how to make a difference and change the world.
Ingrid showcased the World’s Largest Lesson (WLL) that introduces the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to children and young people everywhere and unites them in action. Within the WLL, toolkits for educating children about each of the seventeen SDG are provided. Toolkits include lesson plans for a 70-minute workshop along with other creative educational resources.
For SDG #12, Responsible Consumption and Production, the lesson objective is to educate children on how to minimize food waste and become the advocates for sustainable food consumption. Ingrid invited chefs in the audience to make a difference by joining the WLL as an instructor and educating on responsible consumption and production.
Chef Koetke returned to the stage and announced the WorldChefs Food Waste Challenge, the culmination of the impressive Feed the Planet session. The Challenge tagline is:
Love Food. Hate Waste. ... Save Money.
The WorldChefs Food Waste Challenge consists of two sub-challenges: 1> educational introduced by Ingrid and 2> operational introduced by Chef Koetke. Within the operational Challenge are seven initial steps:
|Measuring BOH food waste|
photo courtesy of Compass'
Trim Trax program
- Sign up for the Challenge on the WorldChefs website.
- Kick-off day for BOH (back-of-the-house) Food Waste Challenge - marks the beginning of the operational Challenge with a webinar that explains the steps within the Challenge along with pointers on how to accomplish the steps.
- Measurement with the toolkit - participants commit to weighing the kitchen (BOH) food waste for three months and develop a baseline of food waste generated in kitchen operations. Worldchefs will provide a tracking tool for creating the food waste baseline.
- Submissions commitment - sign-up for the operational Challenge on the WorldChefs website.
- Webinar check-in with an inspirational presentation - the food waste reduction portion of the Challenge begins. Each participant commits to reducing BOH food waste by a chosen percentage over a six-month period. Worldchefs will provide guidance on percentages and tools to help address BOH food waste.
- Submission of BOH food waste reduction results - at the midway point (three months) WorldChefs will host a webinar check-in with an inspirational and educational presentation.
- FOH (front-of-the-house) Food Waste Challenge kick-off - participants renew their BOH food waste reduction commitment for another six-month challenge and embark on a FOH challenge, following similar parameters to the BOH challenge.
Within his closing remarks, Chef Koetke invited the attending chefs to participate in the WorldChefs Operational Food Waste Challenge; twelve country delegations verbally agreed to participate in the Challenge!
As a finale to the Feeding the Planet session, the presenters returned to the stage for a question and answer session moderated by Paul. Questions came directly from the audience and the live FB stream.
A comprehensive Feed the Planet PPT presentation, as well as Holly's solo The Profitability of Waste: the business case for food waste reduction presentation, are available for download on the Ei Speaking Engagement page.
The Holly Elmore Images FB album, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia July 2018 Visit, includes a section on the 2018 WorldChefs Congress & Expo along with sections on Holly's guided and self-guided KL tours.
Power of Chefs
EMPOWERING: WorldChefs dedicated an entire day of educational sessions to Feed the Planet and launched the WorldChefs Food Waste Challenge at their 2018 World Chefs Congress & Expo!
|Feed the Planet session presenters|
photo courtesy of WorldChefs
When the world's premier chefs association teams with the UN Food Waste Programme, supports The Chefs Manifesto, and encourages participation in the World's Largest Lesson on SDG #12, Responsible Consumption and Production, the power of global chefs is invoked!
At the top of the food industry hierarchy, global chefs are in the position reduce food waste within the entire food system, ranging from their operations to the distribution channels and to the farms. ... and as humanitarians, chefs will ensure excess food is redirected to hungry populations!
Knowing global chefs are staged for action in the food waste reduction arena, the Earth is a brighter planet to call home.
Note: When describing an organization's programs, goals and missions, copy from the organization's website was often used or strongly paraphrased. Whenever copy was used in the article, the respective organization's website was linked.