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BANGKOK, Thailand, December 7, 2018 – The PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility Department conducted our last PATA staff knowledge development lunch workshop of the year. This time, we dived into learning about food surplus management with the help of good friend and partner, Scholars of Sustenance (SOS) Foundation, better known as Thai-SOS. Thai-SOS is also known as the pioneer of food rescue operations in Thailand.  Representing the foundation as a guest speaker was Mr. Bruce Chen, Community Engagement Coordinator. Bruce is a recognized researcher and speaker on sustainable development programs who is determined to change the general public’s perception of food waste and surplus food as it is still a new concept in Thailand.

The world produces enough nutritional food to feed the whole population, yet there are still so many people who go to bed hungry every night. The objective of this lunch workshop was thus to help PATA staff become more aware of issues surrounding food waste, and empower them to share this new knowledge with others.

After a brief introduction about Thai-SOS, Bruce shared some staggering statistics regarding food waste in Thailand, which made everyone suddenly more conscious about the Subway sandwich they were holding in their hands. Some staff members began replacing the lettuce they had just taken out of their sandwiches!

Did you know?

  • 64% of 27.06 million tonnes (27,060 kg) of Thailand’s municipal waste is made up of food waste.
  • An average Bangkok grocery store can throw away up to 200 kg of edible food a day.
  • An average 5-star hotel buffet throws away up to 50 kgs of edible food during each service period.

Speaking of lunch, this time’s lunch got everyone excited to attend the workshop because it was from Subway. Of course, to provide lunch sustainably, we brought our own containers to pack the sandwiches, plus reusable containers to pack four types of sauces. We are proud to say that zero single-use plastics were used to provide our lunch this time around! Thank you to the staff at Subway for helping us consume consciously!

              

We had plenty of time for Q&A with Bruce so we were able to clear any doubts and make the most out of his time here. When asked what is the ultimate goal that Thai-SOS wish to achieve, Bruce said “our end goal is of course for us to run out of business because then it means people finally know it is the norm to not waste food and it is the norm not to overproduce food. But that will take us a very long time.”

At the end of the workshop, our tummies were full, our minds were filled and our souls were ready to make a change. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Thai-SOS for being such angels – for changing the world one meal at a time. To volunteer with Thai-SOS, please reach out to them here. Alternatively, you can drop us an email at SSR@pata.org.

Extra bites:

Bruce was also a guest speaker at PATA x MUIC workshop touching base about Sustainable Hospitality Businesses. Read about it here.

Read about our previous lunch workshops here.

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BANGKOK, THAILAND, October 18, 2018 – Food waste remains as challenging as ever, and we in the hospitality and tourism industry have a special responsibility to do our part to reduce this wastage.  With sustainable consumption and production practices and the Sustainable Development Goals in mind, PATA Sustainability and Social Responsibility Department gathered partners, members from hotel sectors, private and government sectors for an intimate brainstorming session to see what more we can do collectively to raise awareness and reduce food waste to landfill.

The brainstorming session aimed to build on the momentum of the BUFFET (Building an Understanding for Food Excess in Tourism) Initiative to discuss on the current situation of food waste in hospitality and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific. Chi Lo, PATA Sustainability, and Social Responsibility Specialist kicked off the meeting with an introduction to the campaign. The session then continued with a self-introduction of participants on their personal interest on food waste as well as an introduction on what their organisations are currently pursuing.

Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA as well as Trevor Weltman, PATA Chief of Staff were present in the discussion to engage with our partners and contribute their knowledge on this matter. The brainstorming session took off thanks to everyone’s passion for the issues at hand.

The main activity of this brainstorming session revolved around the discussion of strategies and ideas on how to further raise awareness of food waste in our industry and drive positive change. A state of industry report is set to be released in May 2019 which will showcase the results and findings of the Bangkok Hotels Project. This report will also include valuable case studies of food reduction champions in the hospitality industry.

The next highlight of the BUFFET initiative will be the announcement of the BUFFET for Youth challenge. The winning team will showcase their case study at the PATA Youth Symposium in PATA Annual Summit 2019. PATA extends its gratitude to all the organisations who participated in this brainstorming session. We look forward to working together in a collaborative effort to tackle this global issue.

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