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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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On October 5, 2018, PATA hosted a special staff lunch workshop conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The purpose of the workshop was to instigate behavioural change among employers, encouraging them to commit to giving decent work to domestic workers as part of the “My Fair Home” campaign. The campaign is a result of collaboration between the International Domestic Worker Federation (IDWF) and the ILO. In place since 25 September 2015 in Bangkok, the campaign is a vehicle for encouraging people and companies to create “a fair home” by following the Thai Law, and international standards regarding domestic work.

Since 1919, the ILO has aimed to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. The TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme, under which the “My Fair Home” campaign falls, works on improving conditions for migrant domestic workers across the ASEAN region.

          

At the beginning of the session, the speakers; ILO Technical Specialist, Anna Olsen together with Campaign Advisor, Aanas Ali, firstly gathered our attention to be mindful of the language used when addressing these workers:

Domestic workersnot helpers, maids or servants

Migrant workersnot alien or foreign

We learned that the majority of domestic workers are women and girls; tens and millions of women and girls are employed in a private household. They clean, cook, care for children/ elderly and perform other essential tasks for their employers. Despite their important role, they are among the most exploited and abused workers in the world.

Quick facts:

  • 40% of the world’s domestic workers are in Asia-Pacific
  • 83% of these are women.
  • 90% of migrant domestic workers in Thailand earn less than minimum wage (325 THB/day).
  • Migrant domestic workers in Thailand work on average 12 hours daily, while those with care roles work 13 hours

Our lunch again was provided by Lankaow Waan – we just can’t help but support their sustainability practices that align with PATA’s values. Just like the previous workshop the caterer provided our lunch in recyclable packaging and drinks prepared in glass bottles.

    

 

The workshop was wrapped up after an action & reflection session. PATA will continue to strengthen the understanding of human rights and human resource issues among PATA staffs and PATA members in the context of travel and tourism.

     

ILO will be back at the PATA HQ to conduct another insightful workshop exclusively for PATA members & partners. Find out how you can help your employees be responsible employers of domestic workers through this workshop. For more workshop details, please do not hesitate to contact PATA Sustainability and Social Responsibility Specialist, Chi Lo at ­­­Chi@pata.org or ILO Campaign Consultant, Aanas Ali at aanas@iloguest.org.

We encourage all individuals to support the rights of domestic workers in your home and community. Visit “My Fair Home” to take a pledge!

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