Costa Cruises has adopted the 4GOODFOOD program fleetwide, a program that aims to halve food waste on board the Italian cruise line’s ships by 2020.
When its Middle East-homeporting cruise ship Costa Mediterranea returns to Dubai in the 2020 cruise season, she will have had the project implemented on-board.
Around 54-million meals are prepared at sea every year by Costa Cruises alone and several thousand tons of food is wasted at buffets and in restaurants on all its ships.
Through the 4GOODFOOD program, Costa Cruises will review all its food service processes and remodel them using an integrated approach based on sustainability while ensuring the proactive engagement of guests and crew.
Costa Diadema is the current flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet.
A pilot program tested during 2017 aboard Costa Diadema revealed a more than 50% reduction in food waste in 11 months, equivalent to a saving of 1,189 metric tons of CO2, or the emissions of 231 cars in a year.
According to a statement from the cruise line, the cruise industry is well-placed to harness the benefits of 4GOODFOOD as cruise ships, by their isolated at sea nature, are already adept at using food stores efficiently.
According to a report entitled ‘Overview of waste in the UK Hospitality and food sector’ produced by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme), the average shore-based restaurant wastes 284 grams of food per person per meal.
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This compares to the 216 grams measured on the Costa fleet prior to the launch of the 4GOODFOOD program.
“We’ve taken a good hard look at the value of food and responsible consumption, and come up with practical solutions,” said Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba. “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.”
Palomba added that he hoped Costa Cruises’ initiative would act as a catalyst for other cruise line’s to follow suit.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Food waste is a key global issue: the UN 2030 Agenda lays down 17 Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is precisely to halve per capita global food waste by 2030.
According to FAO, roughly one third of the food produced in the world every year — approximately 1.3 billion metric tons — gets lost or wasted.