Pilot project “Reduce food waste, cook for your guests”

The developed countries are faced with the burning issue of throwing away food and the resulting biowaste, which is creating not only injustice, but it poses an environmental problem. According to the United Nations report, close to a billion tonnes of food are thrown away around the world each year, or almost 20% of the available foodstuffs. Food waste is a grave challenge of today, and Croatia also has to take serious steps to tackle this issue.   

In the words of Branka Ilakovac from the Food Waste Prevention Centre, around 400 thousand tonnes of food waste are generated in Croatia. The hotel sector, as one of the most important stakeholders in the tourism industry, has a significant environmental impact so the transition to the green business model is inevitable.

So, the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Faculty of Geotechnical Engineering of the University in Zagreb, launched a pilot project “Reduce food waste, cook for your guests”.

For now, the project is being implemented in two hotels – the Park Plaza Histria in Pula, and the Osijek Hotel in Osijek. As part of different activities and education, data are being collected and methods established so that as a result, the project could be applied across Croatia in the kitchens in other hotels. Workshops for the staff of the participating hotels were held, where they were presented with the examples of the hotels that were already applying the principles of planned food management, proper storage of ingredients, and rationally estimating portion size. In cooperation with the hotel staff, measurements were carried out in Osijek Hotel, showing that the quantity of waste was reduced by 11% based on the recommendations and consultations with the hotel staff. The baseline was the measured total food waste quantity in 10 categories, which included meat, eggs, milk and dairy products. From the first measurements, the bread category recorded a 50% reduction, partly because smaller plates were offered along the large ones, so that the guests could have a choice to plate only as much as they knew they would eat.