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Exploring Solutions: Conference on Mitigating Food Waste in the Hospitality Industry

Within the SIRHA Budapest International Food Industry Exhibition, a conference was co-organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Project Wasteless on the 5th of March 2024, which  aimed to address the challenges and solutions of food waste produced arising from running of restaurants and hotels with a view to sustainability aspects.

The conference was opened by Dr Beáta Felkai, Deputy State Secretary of food chain supervision at the Ministry of Agriculture, stressing the shared responsibility of stakeholders in struggling against food waste.

Dr Gyula Kasza, the Programme Manager of Project Wasteless started the series of presentations, summarising the data on food waste globally and highlighting the differences between the various actors in the food chain.  Furthermore, he presented the European Consumer Food Waste Forum’s recommendations aimed at helping food businesses and other organizations minimize food waste produced by consumers.

Klára Karakasné Dr Morvay, the Associate Professor at the Budapest University of Economics and Business went into more detail on reducing food waste in the hospitality industry is such a complex task.

Dr András Tóth, the Director of the InDeRe Research Institute pointed out that how the available measurement methods of food waste can support catering units to become more sustainable.

Dávid Tóth, the Head of the Catering Supervision Department of NFCSO, explained that the food service sector has the potential to prevent excessive wastage while complying with food safety rules. Food safety and food waste prevention can go hand in hand, as proved by the activity of the Hungarian Food Bank.

The conference was closed by Tamás Isaák, Team Leader of the Munch food rescue app, who presented the working principle and results of the initiative. Mr. Isaák also shared that they are currently working with others to develop a model and technical solution for implementation to deliver restaurants’ surplus safely to those in need supported by the EU-funded HORECA-FOODWASTE-RED project (MunCharity).

The experts agreed that besides by the pursuit of prevention, further development of donation systems could provide effective solution to reducing waste in hospitality sector.

OpeningThe conference was opened by Dr Beáta FelkaiDr Gyula Kasza, the Programme Manager of Project WastelessKlára Karakasné Dr Morvay, the Associate Professor at the Budapest University of Economics and BusinessDr András Tóth, the Director of the InDeRe Research InstituteDávid Tóth, the Head of the Catering Supervision Department of NFCSOTamás Isaák, Team Leader of the Munch food rescue app

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