CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS, Thailand’s largest hotel operator, will participate in an innovative new charity operation that collects and distributes surplus food to benefit people in need, starting in August.
The operation, ThaiHarvest|SOS is a joint initiative with OzHarvest, the pioneering Australian organization that has established a proven and successful “Food Rescue” model. which is being adopted around the world, and the Thai Foundation Scholars of Sustenance (SOS)”
The program’s mission is to eliminate hunger and food waste through the re-distribution of quality surplus food. Experts estimate as much as a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted in the transport, distribution, and preparation supply chain. When this food ends up in a landfill, it represents a tremendous waste of resources, and a lost opportunity to help people unable to afford adequate nutrition.
The OzHarvest rescue and redistribution system has proven a safe and efficient way to reduce this waste and benefit the planet. Begun in Australia 14 years ago, it is now being replicated in the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Peru, Indonesia and Vietnam. An important part of the initiative is educating people about the problem and opportunity of food waste.
In Thailand, ThaiHarvestISOS picks up good quality surplus food daily from participating supermarkets, hotels, food courts, restaurants and other businesses. Trained inspectors sort the food and assure its safety. Food no longer fit for human consumption is taken to local farms for composting. The rest is refrigerated and delivered to the needy.
Since 2016, ThaiHarvestISOS has donated over 60,000 meals to organizations such as Mercy Center Orphanage, Half Way Homes for men and women, the Pak Kred Babies’ Home and the Poh Teck Tung Foundation.
In August Centara Hotels & Resorts will begin donating surplus food from its Centara Grand hotels at CentralWorld and Ladprao. Eventually it hopes for all its Thailand properties to participate. These main two properties will also arrange an event called “Master Class Dinner”.
It will be led by Will and Steve, celebrity chefs who won Australia’s The Seven Network’s top rating cooking show in 2015 – My Kitchen Rules Australia. They are known as chefs who support OzHarvest campaigns and now ThaiHarvestISOS.
“We are thrilled about the leadership taken by Centara to partner with us on our mission to eliminate hunger and reduce food waste through the re-distribution of quality surplus food. Their commitment and support will allow ThaiHarvest|SOS to both help reduce food waste in Thailand, and at the same time, provide good meals to those in need in our community”, said Gopi Krishnan, head of programs at OzHarvest and ThaiHarvest|SOS.
“As we prepare food for our guests, unavoidably at the end of each day we have surplus – for example, bakery items or excess from a large banquet,” said Winfried Hancke, Centara’s corporate director of food and beverage. “It is a shame to let this food go to waste when there are so many people who could benefit from it.”
Supatra Chirathivat, Centara’s senior vice-president corporate affairs & social responsibilities, noted how well the program fits the group’s social responsibility and sustainability goals.
“Being a good member of the community means helping those less fortunate and using the earth’s resources more efficiently. We’re so enthusiastic to support the work of OzHarvest and ThaiHarvestISOS. Food is an area where we can all help reduce waste. I hope our involvement helps educate and inspire others to do their part.”