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Sunday, March 17, 2019

WorldChefs' Feed the Planet: Making a Global Impact

On January 7, 2019 The World Association of Chefs’ Societies' (WorldChefs) Feed the Planet Committee launched the Food Waste Challenge (FWC) with participants from across the globe. For the launch, Feed the Planet Chair Chris Koetke led a webinar educating on the importance of food-waste reduction and the FWC parameters.

The RiA Magazine article, Elemental Impact / WorldChefs Collaborate on Global Food Waste Challenge, shares the WorldChefs | Elemental Impact (Ei) relationship history and introduces the FWC parameters. Founded in 2010 as the home for the Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ), Ei provides the food-waste expertise while WorldChefs customizes the information for the chef audience. It is a perfect collaboration!

In preparation for the FWC, Ei Founder Holly Elmore prepared the following supporting documentation:
  • Back-of-House (BOH) 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.
FWC First Step: Calculate the Food-Waste Baseline
One of the keys to the ZWZ success was the motto:

Take baby steps 
Lots and lots of baby steps!!!

In alignment with the ZWZ motto, the FWC is broken down into three primary stages : 1> BOH Food Waste, 2> Front-of-the-House (FOH) Food Waste, and 3> Destinations for Excess and Wasted Food. Within stage one, there are seven initial steps centered on calculating an operation's BOH food-waste baseline for two-consecutive three-month periods.

Image courtesy of WebstaurantStore
Determining the waste baseline is the initial step in developing zero-waste programs. Beyond establishing the current scenario for metrics tracking, the baseline calculation reveals the type of waste generated. Once waste is identified, the next step is creating a reduction plan.

In April Chris will host a second webinar with FWC participants where the BOH Food-Waste Toolkit is introduced. Additionally, ample time is planned for participants to share their challenges, lessons learned, and successes.

As the first FWC participant, Chef Winson Collarte and his crew at L'Apera Café & Restaurant in Saudi Arabia understand the chefs' responsibility for creating a waste-free food system. In Chef Winson's words,"We chefs are responsible for food-supply sustainability as practitioners of our passion and citizens of this planet." Enthusiastic about the food-waste reduction impact at his restaurant, Chef Winson filmed a two-minute plus video on the importance of the FWC.

Feed the Planet: Making a Global Impact
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.

As Feed the Planet Chair, Chris shares the magnitude of the WorldChefs' initiative:
"The Feed the Planet Committee of WorldChefs focuses on sustainability from a planet, foodservice, and humanitarian level. It is really important work and I am very proud of what we are accomplishing. We teach chefs and culinary students around the world about sustainability and how to cook with the planet in mind. We give the disenfranchised an opportunity to enter the foodservice world as an economic means of improving lives through our better future initiatives in many countries. We challenge chefs with our Food Waste Challenge and ask them to make an impact by teaching school kids about food waste. We do not do this alone though. We have wonderful partners like Electrolux, AIESEC, and of course Elemental Impact and the great work that Holly is doing.  Together, we can craft a better future!"
In addition to the FWC, the below copy from its inaugural Feed the Planet newsletter showcases the following important programs:

Food Heroes Challenge
The Food Heroes Challenge is a chef-driven education project for kids. Using a toolkit developed through the UNICEF sustainability initiative World’s Largest Lesson and our friends at Electrolux Food Foundation and AIESEC, chefs teach a classroom in their local community sustainable eating habits.

Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals
Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals is a free curriculum for culinary schools, teaching chefs how to act sustainably for the planet and improved profitably in the kitchen. Since 2016, 15 schools and organizations in 12 countries have brought this curriculum to their students. Special thanks to Humber College in Canada, our longest running school, and a special shout out to the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts in Jordan, our fastest growing, with 154 students graduating from the curriculum since 2017

Education for Employment
Education for Employment, benefiting those in need of economic opportunity, provides a completely free, 2-month training module to give students the skills to they need enter the foodservice world. So far, 84 students have graduated in 2 cities in Brazil and Moscow. 12 of our students found jobs immediately after graduation. We are preparing to launch additional programs in Brazil, Egypt, Argentina, and Sweden in this year alone. Special congratulations to our most active learning centres: Curitiba, Brazil, now training its 5th class of students, and Sao Carlos, Brazil, whose 3rd wave will graduate at the end of this year.

In a mere seven years, Feed the Planet moved from a concept to a powerful WorldChefs' initiative with tremendous global impact. Feed the Planet makes the world a better place on many levels and dimensions.

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.

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