River Cottage Canteen Reduces Food Waste By A Third

river-cottageRiver Cottage Canteen, the award winning restaurant operated by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, have announced they have reduced food waste by one third. 

Food waste is high up on the national agenda following the BBC series “Hugh’s War on Waste” and over 288,000 people have signed the #wastenot petition campaigning for supermarkets to take action.

River Cottage teamed up with London based technology startup Winnow on a pilot project to cut food waste in the Winchester restaurant. Winnow’s smart meter helps chefs measure and manage food waste by recording what’s thrown in the bin.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall – “Food waste is an issue that affects all kitchens, and inevitably we’re often too busy to understand what is being wasted and why. Winnow’s smart meter has helped us measure where food is wasted in our restaurant, and quickly points us to areas we can make changes”

Using Winnow’s smart meter, which aims to help chefs measure and manage food waste, the team at River Cottage Canteen Winchester have seen pre-consumer food waste reduced by one third over a period of two months, amounting to 6 tonnes per year saved from the bin.

In the kitchen, the team created a league table to foster friendly competition between staff and data from Winnow’s reporting highlighted where changes could be made to operations.

Citrus peels are being now being salted and preserved or candied; burger buns have been reduced in size and the recipe adjusted; unrecoverable vegetable trimmings are now collected by a local organic farm to be turned into compost.

River Cottage Pilot

Winnow’s data shows that within two months food waste has been reduced by a third by value. The learnings from the pilot have now been shared with the other three River Cottage Canteens who are in the process of making similar changes.

Responding to the success of the pilot, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall said: “Food waste is an issue that affects all kitchens, and inevitably we’re often too busy to understand what is being wasted and why. Winnow’s smart meter has helped us measure where food is wasted in our restaurant, and quickly points us to areas we can make changes.

Marc Zornes, Winnow CEO & Founder – “The team at River Cottage got behind the initiative to reduce waste from day one and we’re thrilled to see significant reductions in waste having used Winnow”

“The River Cottage team was quick to buy into the project, and to feel the benefits: in less than 3 months, we’ve already reduced waste by 1/3 by value. And we’re hoping to drive waste down even further. It’s clear that many others in our sector could benefit from using Winnow to reduce their waste and costs. It’s a real no-brainer for the hospitality industry.”

Marc Zornes, Winnow CEO & Founder added, “The team at River Cottage got behind the initiative to reduce waste from day one and we’re thrilled to see significant reductions in waste having used Winnow. Having worked in over 200 kitchens we’ve consistently seen waste cut in half, increasing profitability whilst doing the right thing for the environment at the same time. The results at River Cottage is testimony to the opportunity facing the whole hospitality sector.”

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster widely known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food. He has earned a huge following through his River Cottage TV series and books, as well as campaigns such as Hugh’s Fish Fight and most recently Hugh’s War on Waste broadcast on the BBC. More at www.rivercottage.net/war-on-waste


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