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by Shanna Schubert and Brooklynn Downing, Intern-Associates, PATA

Brooklynn Downing and Shanna Schubert, intern-assocaites, PATA

Brooklynn Downing and Shanna Schubert

Being recent female graduates originally from North America, we quickly realised our commonalities soon after meeting each other. When you’ve been out of your comfort zone for a period of time, travelling abroad, living with a host family, etc., to come across someone from a similar background can be heartening. We soon struck up an interesting conversation about cultural differences and similarities, and what an educational experience travelling can be, more so, how eye opening it is as a reflection on others and especially on one’s self. Often when we think of sustainable travel we think of the obvious, for example, pollution, consumption, transportation, and other tangible factors. But what we frequently forget to discuss is the importance and impact of cultural interaction through tourism in a sustainable manner.

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The Revival Hotel Baroda

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

Situated in Baroda, Gujarat, The Revival Hotel won the Small Hotels Category in the 2001 Federation of Hotels and Restaurants of India (FHRAI) environmental awards

The hotel’s Eco-Aware Green Team (EAGT) consists of the Director, General Manager, Front Office Manager, Food & Beverage Manager, Executive Housekeeper, Security Officer and the Chief Engineer.

Together, they ensure that all staff are aware of the environment policy during induction through a multi-media CD. Eco-signs on energy conservation measures are displayed at staff entry points and the appraisal system has marks on eco-friendly measures. The EAGT is monitored by an external energy audit agency.

Guests are requested to use their linen more than once and to participate in the green movement during the Green Environment Fortnight, during which hotel staff conduct a ‘Green March’ around the city carrying banners about environmental protection.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Food Safety

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

Why is food safety important?

Food safety and hygiene means taking the necessary precautions in order to ensure that food is fit for human consumption and does not create an environmental health hazard. There are significant legal, ethical and business reasons why food safety should be part of any restaurant or food service establishment’s overall approach to management and meeting quality standards:

  • Food safety is subject to increasingly rigorous legislation around the world, making it an offence to serve food that is injurious to health or does not comply with safety requirements. Many countries have adopted the internationally-recognised system of food safety management called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)1. This system identifies and monitors critical control points (CCP’s) at all stages of the food production and preparation process to ensure that food is safe for human consumption. Regardless of their size, businesses serving food should implement food safety management procedures based on HACCP principles.
  • Businesses that do not comply with regulations or that cause illness or food-poisoning can be prosecuted and liable for fines or compensation claims2.
  • Food safety is important for managing your insurance risk, retaining your license to operate and ensuring repeat business from customers.
  • Some countries, notably in parts of the USA, the UK and in Denmark, have introduced ‘Scores on the Doors’ schemes whereby premises that serve food must display a scorecard or symbol indicating the level of their hygiene standards to consumers. Establishments that are judged to operate to high standards can gain a competitive advantage. Such schemes are popular with the public and are likely become more commonplace. Not only are restaurants now expected to provide special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, low-fat etc. but they also need to include information on menus about ingredients which could cause an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Recipes containing seafood, nuts and wheat gluten are potentially lethal for those who suffer from food allergies.
  • Food wastage is reduced by not accepting produce in unfit condition or spoilage through poor stock management. The provision of food safety training and improvement in staff conditions can improve staff retention and loyalty.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Sustainability in the Kitchen – Food & Drink

Categories: Food & Beverage, Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Private Sector, Return, Supply Chain
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Sustainability in the Kitchen – Food & Drink

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

A growing population puts increasing pressure on the Earth’s finite resources. Sustainability is about finding ways of providing food that will last for future generations and have less of an impact on the environment

Eating according to the seasons has for many people been largely consigned to the past now that you can buy produce, such as strawberries and asparagus, year-round thanks to refrigeration, heated greenhouses and global transportation. These methods create “food miles” (the distance the food has travelled from producer to consumer); every single mile adds to the food’s carbon footprint.

To achieve sustainability, food should be sourced “locally” wherever possible, so minimising the energy used in production, transport and storage. It must also support farmers, sustainable agriculture and local communities, and give farmers in developing countries a fairer deal. Minimising packaging and food waste is also key. According to a recent report in NGF Next Generation Food, the food thrown away by the US and Europe could feed the world three times over. The catering and hospitality industry is responsible for a large part of this waste.

Sustainable operating practices include using tap water not branded bottled water where possible. It is estimated that 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water, 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services and four children die every minute as a result of water-related illnesses. Hotels and restaurants with a growing social conscience are eliminating bottled water from the menu and donating profits to help fund access to sanitary tap water in the developing world.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Energy Efficiency in the Kitchen

Categories: Case Study, Energy, Food & Beverage, Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Planet, Private Sector
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Energy Efficiency in the Kitchen

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

Commercial kitchens are high energy users, consuming roughly 2.5 times more energy per square foot than any other commercial space, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Of that, as little as 40% is used in the preparation and storage of food, says the UK’s Carbon Trust; much of the wasted energy is dispersed into the kitchen.

The technology exists for dramatic reductions in energy consumption, resulting in carbon-footprint reductions and significant cost savings. The EPA claims that restaurants that invest strategically can cut energy costs by between 10%-30%; Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), the professional organisation for design and management consulting services, estimates that energy savings can be as high as 40%, equating to 3%-6% of operating costs.

FCSI has found two areas of real concern in commercial kitchens: equipment used is often only 50% efficient; and low capital cost drives the choice of equipment with little consideration for the whole life-cycle cost.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Sourcing Sustainable Food in Hotels

Photo Credits: Felin Fach (SRA member) vegetable garden

Why more hotels are switching to sustainable food policies and how to create a policy of your own

The importance of sourcing sustainable food may sound like an out of date topic. Surely, everyone knows the impact of food miles and the do’s and don’ts of food sourcing when it comes to fish, meats and seasonal products?

Well even if they do, there are several reasons why it’s important to keep up to date. Firstly, the rules of sustainable food sourcing are constantly shifting. Only recently did the Marine Conservation Society remove mackerel and gurnard from the list of ‘sustainable’ fish, leaving many confused about what fish it is now safe to eat.

Secondly, sustainable sourcing is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for businesses and governments as the fear of food shortages and crops being ‘wiped out’ by extreme weather events become increasing realities. Businesses are increasingly turning to the government for help in consolidating a sustainable and resilient food system by introducing taxes on unsustainable food practices.

And thirdly, customer demand for sustainably sourced food has never been stronger. Trust in food sources is becoming increasingly linked to the notion of sustainable and local sourcing – customers want to know more and more details about where food is coming from, and from this make a judgement about its quality. Customers want real information – not the faux stories about some dining experience – but information that offers ‘food transparency’.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Reducing and Managing Food Waste in Hotels

Photo Credits: Food Waste by Hipsxxheart, on Flickr

Our latest Know How Guide has been developed in collaboration with Considerate Hoteliers to help hoteliers and chefs understand how to manage and reduce food waste in hotels – what is the issue, how should it be addressed and what resources are on offer

This guide has been produced by the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) in collaboration with Considerate Hoteliers. The article draws on resources from organisations like WRAP that are available for the hospitality industry, with additional statistics and information on waste management separately referenced. It is designed for use by Corporate Responsibility and Environment Managers and Chefs. You can read the guide here on the site, or download it here.

What’s the problem with food waste?

  • Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted each year
  • Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa
  • 842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat
  • When food rots it creates methane (CH4) which has 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide
  • If food waste was a country, it would be the world’s 3rd largest emitter of CO2
  • Every time food is wasted, the water, energy, time, manpower, land, fertilizer, fuel, packaging and MONEY put into growing, preparing, storing, transporting, cooking the food is wasted. This great video captures it perfectly

In short; reducing food waste helps you stop wasting money and a host of other resources. Here is an estimation of the carbon emissions created by common foods;

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Wine tourism within the grape-growing areas of Australia is an integral part of local and regional tourism initiatives; however, it is an area that has been under-researched resulting in few available resources to wine tourism providers. This research set out to address this deficiency by establishing whether there is a link between the wine tourism experience and wine purchasing behaviour.  The research was also designed to develop a market segmentation process that will inform wineries about the buying behaviour of particular market segments so that they can fashion their marketing communications strategies in a focused manner.

by  Barry O’Mahony, John Hall, Larry Lockshin, Leo Jago and Graham Brown

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Vision for Foodservice 2010

Categories: Food & Beverage, Oceania, Pacific, Private Sector, Report
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This report is based on previous research into the issues and trends affecting the global foodservice industry, and primary research undertaken throughout Australia. It provides an analysis of the trends and issues affecting the foodservice industry in a contemporary Australian context and recommendations for future development.

by Linda Roberts, Margaret Deery and Anne-Marie Hede

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Vision for Foodservice 2010

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The Good Living Tourism project focused on the lifestyle aspects of food and wine tourism. The project comprised several studies including regional case studies and consumer research. This report presents the findings of two stages of the project: a qualitative study that explored the enhancement factors that help to build the food and wine experience, and a quantitative study that investigated consumer preferences in food and wine tourism.

by Beverley Sparks, Linda Roberts, Marg Deery, Jenny Davies and Lorraine Brown

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Good Living Tourism: Lifestyle Aspects of Food and Wine Tourism

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