Zero Food Waste, launched by LUX* Le Morne, Mauritius in as innovative project to eliminate food waste in all Mauritian hotels with an ethical, human, environmental and economic aspect.
A third of the food in the world produced for human consumption goes to waste and tourism is one of the main contributors to this phenomenon. Eliminating food waste is therefore a key priority for LUX* Le Morne, particularly as hundreds of Mauritian children go hungry every day and food waste is a leading source of pollution. These concerns are behind the creation of our large-scale project, ZERO FOOD WASTE.
We have called on all of the hotel groups on Mauritius to join us in a common platform, the ZERO FOOD WASTE FORUM. On Friday, 25 January 2019, the project’s pioneer LUX* Le Morne held the first national forum in the country on food waste, bringing together 150 stakeholders in the tourism industry.
This first edition, organized jointly by the FOOD WISE NGO and LUX* Le Morne, helped raise awareness of the impact of food waste, showcased stakeholders working in the field and provided hotels with resources for making better use of surplus food. This makes ZERO FOOD WASTE an innovative project, as food waste in the hotel trade has for a long time been a taboo subject both in Mauritius and abroad.
To break this taboo and make the project unique and innovative, we are working not only to eliminate waste, but also to collect and recycle organic waste, which in fact represents a major economic resource. What is today a reality for one of the country’s hotels will tomorrow be a priority for the entire hotel industry.
Our goal in 2018 was to eliminate food waste at our hotel. Now that this goal has been achieved, the project continues to develop by managing waste at the source, addressing purchases, cooking methods, portion control, and client and staff habits. By the end of 2019, the ZERO FOOD WASTE initiative will have been put into action in two other LUX* hotels on Mauritius, LUX* Grand Gaube and LUX* Belle Mare.
Over the next 3 years, our goal is to ensure that all hotels on the island are involved in the project.
Finally, we hope to make the ZERO FOOD WASTE FORUM a key annual event in the hotel industry and to include all other sectors in Mauritius’ economy.
How does the project work? ZERO FOOD WASTE is built on three commitments: production management; sorting of food waste; and redistribution of food to disadvantaged children in the Morne region in the south of Mauritius.
As the project is of a purely responsible and charitable nature, it cannot rightly be called an economic model. It is clear, however, that fighting food waste creates savings in terms of purchases and therefore reduces operating costs. We will be able to better measure the impact of this aspect in a few months.
The project works on the solidarity of various stakeholders, such as suppliers, manufacturers and transporters, who have risen to the challenge and kindly provided the means necessary for the project’s success.
There are three key actions for fighting waste: reduce, reuse and recycle.
Reduce: The main goal is to eliminate waste by preventing it in the first place. During the forum, the heads of various hotels described their strategies for reducing waste. Their suggestions were to measure the waste produced so that it can be better managed, reduce portion sizes, and create recipes that use peels and cook to order.
Reuse: When it is not possible to reduce waste, NGOs such as FoodWise, Cuisines Solidaires and Manzer Partazer work to enable the redistribution of surplus food to disadvantaged families. FoodWise works with LUX* Le Morne to distribute 175 meals various times a week to the RCA school in Case Noyale. FoodWise has also developed a legal framework that ensures all stakeholders are protected legally.
Recycle: When food waste cannot be avoided, energy should at least be recovered through the production of biogas, or by recycling as compost or fertilizer. Local solutions to manage such organic waste were presented at the forum.
To encourage all industries and households in Mauritius to follow us in our initiative, we have enlisted the support of artists, shop-owners, representatives of the National Assembly, the President of the Republic of Mauritius and international celebrities as ambassadors. ZERO FOOD WASTE is one of the only projects in the hotel industry to fight food waste with an ethical, human, environmental and economic aspect.