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Waste Not, Want Not, this Christmas

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This article appeared on the Meat Trade Journal website 12.12.2012

London catering butcher Hensons, supplier to some of the capital’s top hotels and restaurants, is urging customers and competitors alike to waste not want not this Christmas.

Hensons is a supporter of Crisis at Christmas. This year, the charity is opening 10 centres across London to celebrate Christmas with an expected 3,000 homeless guests between December 23rd and 30th.

Hensons traditionally donates cheese, dairy and other New Year dated “use-by” stock as the festive season approaches. Last year, its donation added up to food worth £2,000 that may have otherwise gone to waste.

This year Hensons is not only planning on again giving away its unsold fresh produce and a pallet of tin tomatoes (900 kilos), it has also teamed up with its wholesale butcher William, Warman and Guttridge, of Smithfield, to gift 2,300 gourmet burgers.

Hensons’ managing director Andrew Brook says: “As an industry, I feel we could and should be doing more to help charities like Crisis at Christmas. This year has been a tough one for many people. Our own hospitality industry hasn’t been immune to the recession but at an individual level, most of us will still enjoy a good Christmas.

Mark Warman, of William, Warman and Guttridge, explains: “Before we break for Christmas, we will all have stock coming up to its use-by date during the holiday period and I would urge everyone not to bin but rather donate it. There is research suggesting that the UK’s restaurants already waste 600,000 tons of fit to eat food a year*. Let’s not add to that when so many people are hungry.”

Neil Kennedy, Crisis at Christmas’ resource manager, adds: “We especially need meat and poultry, but we are grateful for whatever can be spared as we have an increased number of guests to feed this year.”

To contact Neil, telephone 020 7036 2676 or e-mail neil.kennedy@crisis.org.uk. For further information on Hensons Foodservice, which as well as supplying everything a chef may need is famous for its own produced salt beef, visit hensons or telephone 020 7609 2299. For further information on William, Warman and Guttridge, log on smithfieldmarket.com or telephone 020 7236 7395.

*Research undertaken by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. See www.thesra.org.