Unilever Food Solutions hopes to help chefs make 200 million meals healthier, tastier and more enjoyable every day by 2020. In North America, the goal is to help operators reduce 1 billion calories on restaurant menus, and through a partnership agreement with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), to help develop a sustainable food service industry, according to a company press release.
The foodservice industry, and its tens of millions of chefs who prepare dishes every minute in 17.5 million outlets, have the potential to make a big collective impact. Small actions, like reducing food waste and calories on menus, can, when multiplied by tens of millions, make a big difference, said Simon Marshall, president of Unilever Food Solutions North America.
"We are pleased and excited to have forged this new partnership with the CIA. Our goals to help the foodservice industry create a sustainable future are well-aligned," he said. We are on this journey together, and by combining our unique resources I believe we can have a really positive impact on the health and sustainability of the foodservice industry."
Through the partnership, Unilever and The Culinary Institute of America will provide resources and expertise to help operators and chefs focus on implementing healthier and more sustainable business practices. Current research on culinary excellence, social responsibility and business innovation will be presented as part of the Menus of Change First Annual Leadership Summit, hosted by The Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public Health this week.
"Half of all meals consumed today on a dollar cost basis are being prepared by culinary professionals," said Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America says. "Chefs shape taste preferences and national food trends, and with that they are in the best position to make healthy, sustainable foods craveable. We, at The Culinary Institute of America, are thankful for Unilever's partnership and vision in focusing on well-being in the food service industry."
Unilever Food Solutions is driving global change in the following areas:
- Help chefs to run a more efficient kitchen and reduce their waste: In a number of countries, including North America, through the United Against Waste Program, Unilever works with organizations and operators to reduce and redirect waste away from landfills and into sustainable opportunities such as compost for community gardens.
- Sustainably source 100 percent of agricultural raw materials by 2020: In 2007, Unilever was the first major tea company to commit to sustainable sourcing of tea on a large scale. By 2015, 100 percent of Lipton teas will be Rainforest Alliance Certified.
- Help chefs to improve food safety in their kitchen: In China, Unilever Food Solutions partnered with the State Food and Drug Administration to deliver Food Safety Workshops to 1,000 operators. The Food Safety Service also reached over 100,000 operators in 28 key cities.
Read more about sustainability.