Food service professionals from across the Midwest participated in a free Food Waste Prevention Workshop on Tuesday in the Ivy Investments Executive Level at Children’s Mercy Park.The educational event, organized by Agspring, the National Restaurant Association, Re Fed and Sporting Kansas City as part of the group’s Sporting Sustainability platform, brought together prominent industry leaders and food conservation advocates for a first-of-its-kind forum for networking and collaboration.
“We have some very serious long-term challenges that our generation is trying to fix,” Bradford Warner, Vice President of Marketing and Sustainability for Agspring, told the group of restaurant owners, managers and chefs. “We have to do it in such a fashion that we don’t destroy the planet along the way. Let’s make Kansas City known as a region that really knows how to tackle this problem.”Attendees also heard from two nationally-recognized guest speakers in Jeff Clark, who leads the National Restaurant Association’s sustainability education efforts, and Angel Veza, a senior associate with First Principle Group and a procurement manager with Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City.
The workshop was offered through Sporting Sustainability, an initiative founded in 2018 by Agspring, Bayer, Sporting Kansas City, Syngenta and The Nature Conservancy to raise awareness around the impact of food waste prevention, including greenhouse gas emissions and agricultural land use, while utilizing educational tools to encourage the adoption of sustainable practices. “The first year of this program put a heavy emphasis on targeting consumers and giving them information to take action within their own homes,” Warner said. “We knew there was an opportunity in food service to do the same type of thing.”Tuesday’s workshop aimed to help food service professionals identify causes of food waste and to provide resources, strategies and solutions to reduce food waste in their day-to-day operations.The event kicks off Sporting Sustainability’s enhanced efforts at Children’s Mercy Park in 2019, highlighted by the debut of a Sporting Sustainability title night on April 14 when Sporting Kansas City hosts the New York Red Bulls in a nationally televised match-up.