Following an international trend pressuring large food chains to think local and source local food, Autogrill, the multinational company known for its motorway and airport restaurants in 30 countries, is partnering with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (or the FAO) to do just that. The chain of restaurants will cut down food waste and losses and support the introduction of products of small-scale and smallholder farmers in developing countries, the UN agency announced today.
Under the three-year agreement, FAO will provide Autogrill with tools to track and reduce food losses and waste across its more than 4000 stores and design information materials and campaigns to raise awareness among Autogrill customers worldwide about waste reduction.
“We’re excited to collaborate with a major multinational restaurant chain like Autogrill on making its market chain more inclusive,” said Eugenia Serova, Director of the Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division at FAO.
“This is a new type of public-private partnership for FAO which could become a model for collaborations with other retailers in future” she said.
It is estimated that roughly one third of the food produced globally for human consumption – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes every year – is lost or wasted.
In recent years, restaurants and food and beverage stores worldwide have become increasingly aware of their role in making food chains more sustainable. Supporting local food producers and farmers makes economies resilient and in some cases encourages positive practices such as organic farming, permaculture farming and hydroponic farming.
“The public-private partnership belongs to the tradition of Autogrill. From today onward the leading global restaurants chain for the people on the move will continue that tradition jointly with FAO. Our social responsibility awareness will certainly be improved by the relationship we are beginning today,” said Luigi Troiani, European Public Affairs Manager of Autogrill Group.
Autogrill is the latest to sign on to the Save Food Global Initiative spearheaded by FAO to involve a wide range of actors along the food chain in common strategies to cut food loss and waste.
Locally grown hydroponic food in Thailand via Shutterstock