CIWM serves up surplus food to reduce food waste

05 June 2018


CIWM is partnering with local surplus food café to provide lunches for several internal meetings, using food that would have otherwise been wasted.

Northampton-based Elsie’s Café will provide its catering services for a number of meetings at CIWM’s Northampton-based HQ.

“As part of the ethos of waste prevention, the Waste Prevention SIG supported the idea of using Elsie’s café for a lunch during one of their recent meetings,” said CIWM’s technical manager, Tina Benfield.

Elsie’s Café serves up fresh, tasty meals made from ingredients deemed either “damaged” or close to their sell-by date. The edible food which would otherwise go to waste is supplied by food donations from local businesses, shops, wholesalers and restaurants to create the weekend menu at the café.


The café – part of the Real Junk Food Project – asks customers to “pay-as-they-feel”, whether it be 1p, £10, or the offer of washing up the pots to eat in the café.

“The lunch went down so well that it was decided to have it all the time for this particular SIG,” Tina said. “It has also been decided to use them for other meetings as it is supporting the idea of reuse and prevention.

“We have used Elsie’s Café for General Council, Audit Committee, Executive Committee, S&T Committee, a number of other SIGs (healthcare, regulation, hazardous, thermal) and an external BSI standard meeting.

“The Waste Prevention SIG were the most complimentary of the food offered. They liked the whole idea and the selection; other SIGs have said it makes a nice change from just being offered sandwiches. The external BSI meeting thought the choice was really good and thought it was a good spread (this selection was shared with Audit Committee).”

Elsie’s café recently gave a presentation to the Waste Prevention SIG, where it spoke about The Real Junk Food Project's new book on food waste prevention. Find out more on this here. 

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