​​Thai Hotel Operator Joins Food Rescue Program

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Thailand’s largest hotel operator, Centara Hotels & Resorts, is tackling food waste head​ on​. It has joined forces ​with a charity that collects and distributes surplus food to those who need it.

The scheme kicked off this August and is suggestively called ThaiHarvest|SOS, a joint initiative with OzHarvest , an Australian organization that pioneered the successful “Food Rescue” model which is now being replicated wordwide, and the Thai Foundation Scholars of Susten​​ance (SOS).

The OzHarvest rescue and redistribution system was created 14 years ago and has proven to be a safe and efficient way to reduce waste. It is being reproduced far and wide in countries like the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Peru, Indonesia and Vietnam. Besides rescuing food, it also educates people about the problem of food waste and the opportunities the problem offers.

In Thailand, ThaiHarvestISOS collects quality surplus food on a daily basis from a network of participating supermarkets, hotels, food courts, restaurants and other food-related businesses. It also ensures the food is safe for consumption with the help of trained inspectors. When it is not, it is taken to local farms for composting

Since 2016, ThaiHarvestISOS has donated over 60,000 meals to various organizations, including Mercy Center Orphanage, Half Way Homes for men and women, the Pak Kred Babies’ Home and the Poh Teck Tung Foundation.

For now, ​Centara Hotels & Resorts ​is donating surplus food from its Centara Grand hotels at CentralWorld and Ladprao​, but it has ​plans to expand it nationwide. The two venues will also organize an event called "Master Class Dinner", featuring the celebrity chefs Will and Steve​,​ of My Kitchen Rules Australia fame​, ​and supporters of OzHarvest campaigns.​

Initiatives like this are a step in the right direction. The UN estimates that around one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, which amounts to 1.3 billion tons, goes to waste. Financially, this adds up to US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries, not to mention the water, electricity and fuel wasted in the production and distribution of all this food.​

Image credit: Centara