Food waste reduction
Never let your guard down
The fight against habits of consumption leading to a culture centred on waste must never stop: even today in the West, one in three food products is thrown away. But reversing the trend is possible and Camst is proof of this.
Food waste has significant impact on the climate change that threatens Europe and the world. To deal with these challenges, the EU has adopted a new strategy for sustainable, inclusive growth, to stimulate the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, and care for the environment. In December 2019, the European Commission launched the Green Deal, an action plan intended to transform climate issues and environmental challenges into opportunities, and to make the green transition fair and inclusive. One of the main lines of action is “From producer to consumer”, to promote a fair, healthy, environmentally sustainable food system that focuses on the need to change models of consumption and reduce food waste.
The strategy implemented by Camst includes actions to reduce surpluses, focused on the most critical phases of the production cycle.
The contribution of innovation
Too Good to Go
Among the actions taken by Camst in the fight against food waste is joining the Too Good To Go network. The initiative enables bars, restaurants, bakeries, pastry stores, supermarkets and hotels to sell off unsold food at low prices at the end of the day. Every day, an hour before closing time, surpluses are packed in surprise boxes and offered at a price discounted by 70%. Customers save money, and food which would otherwise have been binned at the end of the day is no longer wasted. Group companies in Germany, Spain and Switzerland participate in the same network. Since the start of the partnership, Camst premises have sold 13,000 magic boxes, corresponding to 32.5 tonnes of CO2 saved.
Furthermore, in 2021, for the first time in Italy, a company canteen joined the network: the DeWalt Industrial Tools company in Perugia, part of the Stanley Black&Decker group, led the way in Italy, joining the programme with its company restaurant managed by the Camst Group. By means of the app, the company’s employees can purchase magic boxes of unsold products from the lunch service at a dedicated store, and at the same time help to reduce waste from the company canteen.
Last Minute Market
Camst has been working for a considerable number of years with Last Minute Market, a University of Bologna spin-off operating works in the circular economy and the recovery of surpluses, with impressive results in terms of social benefits and food awareness. It has run numerous campaigns against food waste in partnership with the various catering services, especially school canteens, where initiatives to promote a good relationship with food also include education in reducing waste and precise monitoring of surpluses. In particular, with Last Minute Market the company has distributed “No Waste Bags”, reusable bags in which children place uneaten bread, fruit and snacks, and help to raise families’ awareness of the importance of these small actions. This initiative has also been extended to other catering services.
Camst has been cooperating with local authorities and community associations for the free distribution of food products to those in need for almost fifteen years. This allows the recovery of highly perishable foods surplus to normal production, for distribution to households selected with the aid of local authorities. There is a large number of partnerships in this area, not only with Last Minute Market (already mentioned) but also with Banco Alimentare and twenty or so other organisations. Also worth mentioning are the collaborations initiated by the Spanish company Arcasa with local associations, which in 2021 resulted in the recovery of 7,240 meals from the Germans Trías i Pujol Hospital (Can Ruti), for a total value of € 21,720 and a reduction of 10.8 tonnes of CO2.
The recovery of products from the premises is combined with that from the distribution centre, which has decreased over time due to more restrictive food safety regulations, which do not allow the donation of goods with non-intact primary packaging.
Last Minute Market
The footprint of Camst
For years Camst, in collaboration with Last Minute Market, has been measuring the environmental impact of its food donations, considering three indicators: carbon footprint, i.e. the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere throughout the product's life cycle; water footprint, i.e. the total volume of water used to produce a given good; and ecological footprint, equal to the area of sea and land needed to regenerate the resources consumed by the entire production process. The results of the analysis - based on a representative sample of products, given the wide variety served - are shown below.