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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Elemental Impact | WorldChefs Collaborate on Global Food Waste Challenge

Strong industry connections are integral to success within the regenerative non-profit realms. Long-term relationships often play vital roles in making an impact and moving an initiative through challenges and barriers.

Ei | WorldChefs Feed the Planet Collaboration
Elemental Impact's (Ei) recent formal collaboration with the The World Association of Chefs’ Societies's  (WorldChefs) Feed the Planet, an empowering WorldChef's initiative stems from a 2011 introduction to Chef Chris Koetke, then Kendall College Vice-President, School of Culinary Arts.

2011 NRA panel presenters
Holly is on left: Chris is on far right
Immediately following the 2010 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago, Kendall College hosted the International Foodservice Sustainability Symposium. At the event, Ei Founder Holly Elmore debuted the Recycling Integrity platform to a standing-room-only audience. The following year, Holly invited Chris present on her 2012 NRA Show panel Compost: The Quiet Hero, an encore performance and the long-term bond formed.

In 2015 Chris oversaw development of the WorldChefs' Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals. The sustainability 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.

Chris invited Ei to create the Waste & Recycling Curriculum with the Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals course. Ei's answer was an immediate YES!

The Ei SMAT – Sustainable Materials ACTION Team – went to work on crafting a 50+ page PPT presentation complete with photos | visuals, instructor notes, and a glossary of industry terms. Holly and Chris worked closely together on the final edits to the curriculum.

Final PPTpage
thanking SMAT
The RiA Magazine article, Sustainability: a matter of thinking critically & solving problems in an adaptive manner, gives an overview of the course during its development stage.  For a downloadable short version of the PPT, visit the World Chefs Waste | Recycling Course Curriculum page with the Ei Mission Accomplished! website section.

After beta testing the course in 2016, the Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals course is adopted into core culinary-school curriculum at institutions around the globe.

 WorldChefs Food Waste Challenge
Chris announcing the FWC
at the WCA Congress
In early 2018 Chris reconnected with Holly for Ei support with the
WorldChefs Feed the Planet Food Waste Challenge (FWC); the challenge was slated for announcement at the July 2018 Biannual Worldchefs Congress & Expo hosted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Chris serves as the Feed the Planet Chair.

Holly joined the Feed the Planet FWC Committee and participated in a series of calls focused on defining the challenge parameters. In addition to Chris, other committee members included Arwyn Watkins, President of the Culinary Association of Wales, and Frank Fol, Culinary Architec at Future Foods. The committee agreed to keep the challenge simple and filled with small steps.

Keeping with the simple theme, the FWC was broken down into three primary stages : 1> Back-of-the-House (BOH) Food Waste, 2> Front-of-the-House (FOH) Food Waste, and 3> Destinations for Excess and Wasted Food. The committee focus centered on developing the BOH challenge criteria.

The first FWC action step established was determining a kitchen BOH food-waste baseline.

Within her committee responsibilities, Holly prepared the following challenge supporting documentation:
  • Back-of-House Food-Waste Reduction - the document addresses BOH food waste in relation to four overall kitchen operating sectors: 1> Purchasing, 2> Preparation, 3> Storage | Equipment, and 4> Menu Planning. 
  • Establishing a BOH Food-Waste Baseline - the document explains the importance of establishing a food-waste baseline and gives several suggestions for weighing the BOH food waste.
  • BOH Food-Waste-Baseline Calculation - a comprehensive spreadsheet for calculating the baseline over a three-month period, broken down by stations, and aggregated from daily, then weekly and into monthly food-waste metrics.
The FWC has two subsections: 1> Educational and 2> Operational. Feed the Planet Lead Partner Electolux oversaw the Educational sector while Chris' committee focused on the Operational sector. 

Within the Operational Challenge are seven initial steps:
  1. Sign-up for the Challenge on the WorldChefs website.
  2. Kick-off day for BOH FWC - 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Submissions commitment - sign-up for the Operational Challenge on the WorldChefs website.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
At the 2018 Congress, Chris announced the FWC during the Feed the Planet plenary session. The FWC is set to officially launch in January 2019.

2018 World Chefs Congress & Expo
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.

WorldChefs Congress
Feed the Planet Panel
Integrating the spectrum of focus areas, WorldChefs hosts the biannual four-day Worldchefs Congress & Expo as the premier showcase for culinary innovation. In mid-July, over 1,000 chef delegates and competitors from 80 countries converged on Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 2018 Worldchefs Congress & Expo.

The 2018 Congress celebrated 90 years of empowering chefs through education, competition, and camaraderie.

On day three of the 2018 Congress, the educational plenary program was dedicated to Feed the Planet. Presentations focused on the current global food-waste scenario along with empowering programs committed to evolving the seemingly broken food system. After the "big picture" presentations, the focus narrowed down to local, effective initiatives and case studies on food-waste reduction in culinary operations. The morning session culminated in the announcement of the FWC Educational and Operational Challenges to the WorldChef member delegations.

The RiA Blog article, Feed the Planet: an empowering WorldChefs' initiative, gives an overview of the session presentations and introduces the WorldChefs FWC.

Holly presenting at the
WorldChefs Congress
During the Feed the Planet session, Holly presented on The Profitability of Waste: the business case for food waste reduction. After a quick overview of the successful Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ) 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.

Ei will continue with FWC support through the challenges four stages.

The WorldChefs Feed the Planet program joins the Ei Strategic Ally program with logo placement and a website listing. Ei is a Feed the Planet Collaborative Partner with logo placement on the page footer along with a website listing.

With the long-term relationship formalized, the Ei | Feed the Planet collaboration is staged to make a global difference via the Food Waste Challenge and beyond.

About The World Association of Chefs’ Societies:

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.

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.

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