7 in 10 Brits want restaurants to be more sustainable and majority worry about impact of climate change on food production

A new survey has revealed that nearly two thirds of the UK public (61%) worry food production will be impacted by climate change, and 7 in 10 Brits (70%) want restaurants to make themselves more sustainable. Despite the cost-of-living crisis, almost 1 in 3 people (32%) would be willing to pay extra to eat at a restaurant that operates sustainably or offers a more sustainable menu.

The research was commissioned by Belu and WaterAid to explore consumer attitudes to sustainability in the hospitality sector, and to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on food production and water quality and availability. The ethical drinks company and international charity have also teamed up with some of the UK’s top chefs to inspire people to think about how to be more climate-friendly in the kitchen.

In their new ‘Chop & Chat’ video series, chefs, authors and food influencers including founder of Furna Dave Mothersill, Modern South Asian Kitchen author Sabrina Gidda, and food influencer Max La Manna, share their views on cooking more sustainably, along with top tips on how to do it.  

Launching the weekly series via social channels today, 22 August, is Chantelle Nicholson, head chef and owner of Apricity, recently awarded a Michelin Green Star and part of a pioneering group of chefs and restaurants placing sustainability at the very heart of their business.

Chef-owner of Apricity, Chantelle Nicholson said:

“At Apricity, we have a zero-waste mentality. We focus on seasonality, and we protect plants, champion responsible suppliers and make conscious choices about how we use water. It’s these sustainable practices that help us to deliver a memorable culinary experience, whilst regenerating our environment and the food industry.”

Max La Manna, award-winning author, low-waste chef, campaigner and digital creator, said:

“I’m passionate about food but I worry that so much of it is being wasted every day. It’s important to cherish the resources we have, especially the energy and water used to produce it in the first place. Let’s respect the planet, and remember how vital water is to everyone, as well as the crucial role it plays in growing our food.”

The new poll, carried out by YouGov, clearly demonstrates how many consumers are now looking to minimise their environmental impact, with over half of the UK public (53%) wanting restaurants to make it easier for them to make more sustainable choices. When asked to select the top steps restaurants should take to be more sustainable, the public chose:

  • Reduce food waste (75%)
  • Reduce the use of plastic (72%)
  • Use food produced in the UK or locally (69%)

Only 29% selected use less water, suggesting a low awareness amongst the general public of the link between climate change and water scarcity, and a reminder that we often take clean water for granted.

Charlotte Harrington, Co-CEO of Belu, said:

“There’s a big push across the hospitality sector in restaurants, cafes, even workplaces, to be more sustainable. With Belu Filter in Action businesses can make the switch from single use bottles over to a filtration system using refillable bottles, which saves on fridge space and reduces the amount of recycling needed. It’s a behaviour change but ultimately supports a closed loop system where we cut out waste and retain a great tasting water source.”

Kate Holme, WaterAid’s Strategic Partnerships Director, said:

“Clean water is the key ingredient – for everything. From quenching your thirst to washing your hands, and from cooking to growing food; it’s a resource we cannot live without. However, the stark reality is that 1 in 10 people worldwide don’t have access to clean water, and climate change is making this situation worse. With support from Belu, we’re working with communities to ensure a reliable supply of clean water, able to withstand the extremes of climate c

For more information about WaterAid, Belu and the Chop & Chat video series, please visit wateraid.org/uk/chop-chat-recipes

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