Originally published by David Rutley MP: https://www.davidrutley.org.uk/news/no-appetite-food-waste
Tackling food waste was the top priority when David Rutley, MP for Macclesfield, met the owners of E. Park & Sons alongside leading, catering and facilities management services provider, Sodexo. During the visit, they discussed the importance of building sustainability and resilience into their businesses as key partners in the food supply chain.
Adlington based E. Park & Sons is one of the UK’s few remaining family-owned potato businesses, and they have worked with many of their growers for several generations, both in the UK and overseas. They supply Sodexo, who in turn supply 100 million consumers each day through their partnerships with clients across business and industry; schools and universities; sports and leisure; energy and resources; government and agencies; healthcare; justice and defence.
E. Park & Sons’ wide-ranging customer base allows them to use every part of the crops their farmers grow which underpins their approach to sustainability and their commitment to minimising food waste. E. Park is committed to continuing to deliver net zero gains, through recycling all water, generating 25% of their own energy through solar panels, and the reduction of plastic packs by 20 tonnes per year and cardboard by 100 tonnes per year. All of this activity will be supported by continued investment at the site.
Working with suppliers, Sodexo is committed to unlocking supply chain resilience. The company believes the secret to doing so is by reducing food waste, continuing to prioritise net zero targets and exploring ways to diversify the food supply chain. This includes working with small businesses, and sourcing more domestic, seasonal food. Critically, small and medium sized enterprises account for three-quarters of Sodexo’s supply chain and for 44% of its spend, which means it is able to continue to deliver to customers, despite the external market shocks the industry is facing.
Discussing their partnership, Patrick Forbes, Director of Supply Management for Sodexo said: “E. Park & Sons are allied with Sodexo’s value-led ethos and approach to support their local community. Their product is excellent – they source nutritional products in a secure and safe way – and their sustainability credentials are aligned with our goal to halve our own food waste by 2025. All of this makes them a valued partner for the work that we deliver.
Following the visit, David said, “We must continue to increase awareness of the link between reducing food waste and delivering our wider climate goals. It was impressive to see this work in action at E. Park & Sons, and to see the role Sodexo has played in highlighting its importance amongst their own suppliers and beyond, through their ongoing Appetite for Action Campaign.”