Less food waste
IT service company CGI and Aalto University carry out the project in cooperation with Leijona Catering.
Every year in Finland, around 80 million kilos of food produced by restaurants and other professional kitchens ends up being thrown away. This amounts to around 15kg per Finnish citizen.
Food waste is produced most of all in public catering services, such as daycare centres, nursing homes, schools and hospitals, as well as in staff and student cafeterias. As much as a quarter of the food produced in these places can end up as waste, amounting to tens of millions of kilos every year.
'Professional kitchens have for a long time made use of information systems to plan their food production. Now our goal is to identify the largest causes of waste in the production chain and find new digital solutions to reduce the amount of food waste, such as the use of predictive analytics,' summarises Tero Pollari, who provides director consulting services for professional kitchen development at CGI.
The majority of food prepared in professional kitchens is produced using CGI’s Aromi system, which was developed in Finland. Using this system, the food produced can be optimised in terms of quantity, cost and nutritional value.
'In this project, we are analysing the whole production chain and studying both its processes and the technology involved. CGI brings to the project broad practical experience in digital solutions and updating operating models, while we have experience of research work and the utilisation of academic knowledge. In addition, it is excellent that cooperation offers our students the opportunity to apply their know-how to a practical problem which has large significance for society,' reports Aalto University’s Tommi Vihervaara, who is responsible for the project’s progress.
The research environment will be Leijona Catering, a company specialised in providing food for conscripts, personnel and students.
'Leijona Catering Ltd operates in over 50 service points around Finland and prepares 70 000 meals every day. We make use of the CGI Aromi system. At the annual level, we are talking of around 25 million meals, so the opportunity for reducing food waste is very important to us for both economic reasons as well as in terms of social responsibility. For a number of years already, Leijona has given special attention to the environmental effects of its operations, including matters such as greenhouse gases emitted during food production, the pollution load of waterways, produced waste and biodiversity,' explains Leijona Catering’s Director of Development Petra Savolainen.
The research project begins immediately and will last for around half a year.
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