Costa Aims to Cut Food Waste in Half

Costa is donating excess food to charities and working to reduce food waste onboard.

Costa Cruises today unveiled its 4GOODFOOD program, aiming to cut food waste onboard its fleet of cruise ships by 2020.

The starting point for the project is recognizing the value of food, said Costa, which added it serves some 54 million meals per year. 

The company thus decided to review its food service processes and remodel them based on a new approach on sustainability while ensuring the proactive engagement of guests and crew.

Partners in the pilot project include Fondazione Banco Alimentare ONLUS, Cittadinanzattiva, the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo and Winnow.

The project was been successfully developed and tested on the Costa Diadema in 2016 and is now rolling out fleetwide. Costa said the program has thus far yielded a 50 percent reduction in food waste in 11 months. 

Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba said: "We've taken a good hard look at the value of food and responsible consumption, and come up with practical solutions. 4GOODFOOD is unprecedented in global shipping: thanks to this program we intend to cut food waste on our ships by half by 2020, ten years ahead of the deadline prescribed by the United Nations 2030 Agenda. We've laid down a marker for the industry by promoting a more sustainable shipboard food preparation and consumption model, without in any way impairing the quality of the cruise experience. But the most important aspect - and this is one of our top priorities - is that this project will engage around two million guests a year as well as our 19,000 crew members, meaning there'll be a positive knock-on effect shoreside as well.”

"I am proud to vouch for the progress made by Costa Cruises on the path to food sustainability while contributing to the cultural change that is taking place vis-à-vis this issue. All of this goes to show that the business world and civil society are taking a firm stand when it comes to tackling food waste. I am in no doubt that a heightened sense of responsibility is the key to spreading the message that the right to food is an inalienable one; therefore, we need to boost our joint commitment so as to create more opportunities for dialogue, thereby engaging the community and fostering best practices, including tangible synergistic actions like the initiative presented here today,” said Italian Deputy Minister Andrea Olivero.

Together with Winnow, specialists in optimization of processes in professional kitchens, Costa has placed kitchen scales in the galleys and kept a centralized record enabling the mapping, quantification and analysis of wastage at food processing and preparation level, the company said.

This system has enabled the gradual implementation of integrated improvement actions onboard the ships, and it is already in use on more than half the fleet. Part of the process has been training some 2,400 galley crew.

In addition, new initiatives in the self service buffet have cut consumption by 20 percent, Costa said. The company is also donating surplus food in Civitavecchia, totaling some 16,000 meals in six months. Plans are on the table to expand the program to Palermo, Cagliari, Bari and Venice in Italy plus Marseille, Barcelona, ​​Athens and Valletta (Malta) later this year.

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