A new initiative is encouraging businesses in Munster to reduce food waste.

The Savour Food initiative supports food businesses to reduce their waste and their latest project sees restaurants provide take-away food boxes to consumers who would like to bring their leftovers home with them.

In a further move to promote sustainability, the food boxes are 100% compostable.

This initiative will allow participating businesses to reduce food waste while raising awareness around food waste amongst staff and customers.

It is estimated that Irish food businesses waste 150,000 tonnes of food every year.

Businesses involved in the initiative so far include The Bramley Lodge in Carrigtwohill and The Yarn Café at Carebright in Bruff, Co Limerick.

James Hogan, Programme Manager said: “In Ireland we waste a million tonnes of food waste every year, which is a huge shame. For the food service sector, accurate portion control is a key part of reducing waste and reducing costs. However, there will be times when the customer will not eat all that’s on their plate. We want to see this food going to a good home rather than being wasted.”

Free for business

Savour Food, a food waste reduction initiative for business, supports food processors, food retailers and those in the food service industry based in East Cork, Clonakilty and Ballyhoura regions.

The pilot programme is available to businesses free of charge.

The Clean Technology Centre (CIT), SECAD and Ballyhoura Development CLG have joined forces to assist businesses to cut food waste costs.