In Auch, as everywhere in France, traders in the food sector take the fight against food waste to heart. In addition to being an ecological plague, the latter can also be an economic loss. It’s urgent.
“We don’t have a service without a customer asking us for a doggy bag”. Since July 1, 2021, a law obliges restaurateurs to offer doggy bags to their customers. For the Patte d’Oie bistro, the obligation did not pose a problem. “We have introduced doggy bags since the covid”, confides Stépahne, room manager at the bistro.
The English term “doggy bag”, literally dog bag, defines reusable packaging, which restaurateurs give to customers who wish to bring part of their dish home. “It’s a win-win. Customers leave with their entire order and we don’t throw anything away,” rejoices Stéphane. Indeed, with the climate emergency and the skyrocketing cost of raw materials, food waste is all the more aberrant.
” It is shameful “
A few steps from here, in Audrey’s pizzeria, Pizza Bonici, food waste is taken very seriously. “For six years, we have stopped wasting,” proudly admits Audrey. I’m quite on top of it, ”adds the restaurant manager. When working with fresh products, you have to pay attention to the quantities used, “we only prepare once the orders have been placed”, confides Audrey.
Only downside: when customers do not pick up their order. “It pisses me off! It’s shameful, when you know that people struggle to eat or can’t eat properly, ”protests the latter. But when these situations occur, “nearly three times a month”, Audrey and her employees share the pizzas.
Same before going on vacation, “we take everything we have left and we make a pizza”, she smiles. Same process at the Relais de Gascogne, where Lucas explains “for breakfasts, we fine-tune the quantities until the last moment”.
Several anti-waste apps
But the latter nevertheless regrets the lack of prevention in relation to food waste. “We never received anything from the town hall, nor from any authorities”, confides the latter. Traders are therefore on their own, and must therefore find solutions. For some, the solution lies in mobile apps.
One of them, Too Good To Go, literally too good to leave, offers discounted baskets at partner merchants. In Auch, among the ten participants, the bakery La Mie de Pain offers two baskets every day. “Our kids are pretty green, and they told us about this app. We immediately joined,” explains Didier, store manager.
For 3.99 euros, two people leave with a surprise basket worth 12 euros. Asked about the application, Lucas from Relais de Gascogne is now considering integrating it. In addition, to selling baskets via Too Good To Go, the bakery offers offers just before closing. “Every Friday, we give our unsold items to La Croix-Rouge and we also call the police and firefighters from time to time for those who are on night guard”, slips Dider.
In supermarkets, which are also affected by food waste, operations have been put in place. At Carrefour city, rue de Lorraine, fresh products and some bakery products are offered at reduced prices in an assigned bin. “Everyone benefits from it, young and old alike. It’s really the average customer, but what is certain is that everyone takes a look at it, ”smiles Sarah, employee of the store.
A law that aims to reduce food waste
According to Ademe (the Environment and Energy Management Agency), in France, food waste reaches ten million tonnes per year, 1.6 being directly linked to catering, collective and commercial. The anti-waste law of 1 January this year establishes the objective of reducing waste by 50% by 2030 in commercial catering. This same law provides for the creation of a national “anti-food waste” label to promote initiatives. To learn more about the subject, the ADEME website is full of information and for those who don’t have much time in front of them, a YouTube video sums it all up: “Food waste”.