A Conversation with Fernando Pascual Bañuls - A General Manager, Compass Group Spain

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What do you know about food waste and how do you think it affects society and the world?

    Wasting food waste is an irrational madness. We need to improve our awareness around food resources, especially when there are still so many people who do not have enough to eat or drink and the waste causes environmental damage. We should be aware that resources are not infinite.

How can you influence, from your professional and social position, the reduction of waste? And how do you think that other people can help reduce it?

    We all influence others. How we bring up our children is fundamental and the habits we practice are the examples we set for others.

    Compass Group feeds thousands of people in Spain and millions in the world. We should improve in all lines of action that allow us to reduce food waste, from providing more information to our clients and customers to raising awareness, to better planning in our operations to avoid excesses. It’s about educating both customers and teams. We all win with it. We all benefit from more optimal use of resources. We must take advantage of all good ideas and all good practices. We have a clear determination to continuously improve in this matter.

What change have you made personally, in your day to day, to be more aware of the food waste and the need to reduce it?

At home we advance in several areas:

- We cook what we are going to consume, without excesses. I personally have improved a lot by better measuring so I use only what is really necessary.

- We eat it all. We teach our daughters that food should not be thrown away.

- We try to re-use any food that is left over.

- We make a shopping list, so we acquire depending on what we are going to eat in the coming days. This way we avoid throwing food.

What is your favorite way of using leftovers? 

    I think that, like a good Valencian, I often combine rice with vegetables, chicken or fish. Rice combines easily with everything. I also make salads. Other times, simply, we re-use the dishes that we have saved, alone or combined. 

    In addition, I have a very clear opinion that the typical dishes of all regions are due to a history of sustainability and best use of the resources of each region. For example, the paella takes advantage of the available and best ingredients of the Levante region and that does not stop it from being an exquisite dish. The same applies to their typical dishes in most regions.

Finally, what do you think are the key impacts of Compass Group’s Stop Food Waste Day campaign?

    I hope it helps to improve collective awareness, being a way of education, as I said previously. Although there is more consciousness, it is not enough if we look at the amount of food waste that is still produced throughout the planet. 

    After the campaign developed in April and May, I have asked my teams to continue the habits started with the Stop Food Waste Day throughout the year.