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Food Waste

Volume 575: debated on Thursday 6 February 2014

8. What assessment he has made of the amount of food waste from catering outlets on the Parliamentary Estate. (902440)

Food waste from prepared dishes in the House of Commons catering outlets, as measured as a percentage against sales, is 3%. This is well below the national average for the catering industry, which is 5%. The Sustainable Restaurant Association has rated the House of Commons as a good-practice organisation in respect of food waste. We take a variety of measures to monitor and reduce the amount of food waste from catering outlets. There are plans to extend composting of food waste, which is already undertaken in the Palace in relation to other outlets.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply and for the progress that is being made. Does he agree that, as staff in the catering service see this challenge day in, day out, it would be wise for the Commission to invite them to make their own suggestions on reducing food waste?

It has been my experience that staff suggestions are always worth looking at, but the real challenge is the 21% waste from domestic fridges—that is the real scandal.

That was a splendidly pithy reply, which allows us briefly to get on to the important matter of vermin infestation.