Hua Hin and Cha-am is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. The resort town is estimated to generate around 45 tonnes of food and plastic waste every day. Businesses such as resorts and hotels may need to consider managing and reducing food waste and rerouting usable resources to those in need. ‘Table to Farm’ is a food waste reduction program for hotels to achieve this goal. Founder of the Table to Farm program, Kulanard Kanathanavanich, says that the program consists of 3 stages:
1. Food waste reduction within Food and Beverages Departments by tracking waste and setting targets.
2. Managing and rerouting unused ingredients and prepared foods to those in need. The Program works with local nearby community schools in need, setting up distribution points for school collections
3. Sorting scraps and food trimmings to provide to local livestock farms in need The program also educates local farmers on best practices for feed management and safety. The program aims to foster a sense of care and responsibility by organising activities for staff to interact with program beneficiaries to show that their actions have tremendous impact. Kulanard Kanathanavanich, who also serves as Executive Director of Regent Cha-am Hospitality School (RHS) in Regent Beach, says that food waste reduction and management should be emphasised within hospitality institutions for both existing and new staff.
“We are also teaching these conservation methods to our students at RHS so that new generations of working professionals can be more aware and do their part to minimise food waste” Not only does food waste contribute to a tremendous waste of resources such as water, land and money, green house gases are produced such as methane and carbon dioxide.
“With proper sorting and management, food waste can be reduced and put to better use for those in need. The resources required are minimal and great success can be achieved through many small scale actions. If each individual contributes, together we can make a huge difference.” The Table to Farm program hopes to show that not only can food waste reduction initiatives improve a hotel’s profitability; it can also create a huge community impact. Individual hotels have the power to make changes and create positive impact for the industry.
The program’s approach has been officially shared with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, President of the Hotels Association of West Thailand and President of the Hotels Association of Hua Hin and Cha-Am. The message is now being passed-on and discussed with other operators.