Private sector businesses, public and voluntary sector organisations
If you’re visiting this page your organisation probably isn’t a food business, but it’s still likely to buy food for events, hospitality or the staff canteen, and your staff almost certainly buy and eat food during the working day.
Every decision your organisation makes about purchasing and providing food has an environmental, social, and economic impact.
Knowing the costs and benefits of your decisions will help you decide your priorities for food in your workplace and can help your organisation cut costs, improve staff wellbeing, and minimise your impact on the environment.
We’ve created a list of our top ten actions to get you started:
1. Choose Fairtrade
Make sure that tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, dried fruits, and nuts in your workplace are Fairtrade-certified. Don’t forget to request Fairtrade products when holding meetings in venues you’re hiring.
2. Reduce the amount of meat in your canteens and catering
The production of meat and dairy uses lots of energy, which produces gases that contribute to climate change. Individuals and organisations around the world are reducing their carbon impact by taking part in Meat Free Mondays. Find out more at www.meatfreemondays.com/getinvolved/
3. Think about animal welfare
Healthy, happy animals produce more nutritious meat and dairy. Make sure to ask your catering team for free-range meat, eggs and dairy produce.
4. Eat with the seasons
Ask your suppliers and caterers to provide locally grown, seasonal fruit and vegetables. It’s a good choice for the environment, for health, and for your local farmer.
5. Say No Thanks to Bottled Water
Bottling water uses lots of energy because it has to be processed, packaged, and transported. Water from the tap or mains plumbed filter tap is safe and delicious to drink and will reduce your catering bill as well as your environmental impact. Use tap water in jugs at meetings and ask your caterers to provide the same.
6. Reduce access to unhealthy processed foods in canteens and vending machines
Avoid mid-morning hunger and post-lunch energy dips by encouraging your staff to drink plenty of water and eat healthy snacks, like fruit and nuts, throughout the day. Reduce the availability of unhealthy food in staff canteens and workplace vending and show your staff that you value their health.
7. Create a growing space for staff
Spending time in natural, green spaces is good for wellbeing and positive mental functioning. Creating a staff garden may help reduce workplace stress and increase productivity and will encourage staff to take a break from their desks and get some fresh air. They may even decide to grow some fruit and veg.
8. Recycle everything, including food waste
Most offices already recycle their paper waste but you can usually recycle much more. Food wrappers, tea bags and lunch leftovers can all be recycled or composted too. Cardiff Council offers a recycling service for businesses, which includes a weekly food waste collection.
9. Enable staff to volunteer at a local food project
Align your Food Cardiff pledge with your Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability Strategy and encourage staff to volunteer at a local food project. Not only will you be showing your community that you care but your staff will be developing new skills and confidence, which will benefit your organisation.
10. Get staff involved in developing an ethical food policy, and encourage them to develop Food Action Teams to support your organisation’s vision.
People support what they create. Get your staff on board by asking them to contribute to your sustainability vision. Encourage them to develop ideas to support your Food Pledge. Annual awards can be a great way to reward people’s ideas and effort, and can be very motivating.
Ready to take action? The next steps are:
Join a community of organisations committed to creating positive change. Complete the form and Katie, our Food Cardiff Co-ordinator, will contact you to arrange an appointment to talk about your business and the support you need.
Pledge to do something different and take action. Develop an ethical procurement policy, ask your staff to get involved, and talk to your caterers about what they can do to help.
Share your pledge and show that you take social responsibility seriously. Tell your staff what you’re doing and let them get involved.
Research shows that organisations that invest in improving their local community experience lower staff absenteeism and higher productivity.