Global Citizenship Series, 3rd Edition, 'Food Waste'

16 May, 2017
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The third seminar of 2017, as an integral part of the Global Citizenship Series Event at Hotelschool The Hague, took place on 15 May at Campus The Hague. Anna de Visser-Amundson, Research Fellow in Consumer Choice Behaviour, has participated as keynote speaker on the worldwide issue of wasted food.

Having carried out an in-depth research at Hotelschool The Hague, Ms de Visser had first-hand information on how food production and consumption work – and more generally, which psychological drivers determine actions from consumers. The results of the research seemed to reinforce existing data, which states that purchase motivators change depending on the setting individuals are found in at the moment of decision-making – private versus public.

During private moments consumers are often driven by personal gain (such as saving money, eating healthier, etc.), while in public contexts they are more likely influenced by more “altruistic” reasons (such as reducing methane emissions, leading more sustainable lives, etc.). These results further reinforced existing knowledge and will hopefully help alleviate some of the pressure our community places on an increasing problem for humanity.

Ms de Visser continued driving the point home, by explaining to those present how food waste impacts our species socially, economically and environmentally. Worldwide, over 1 billion tonnes of food are wasted each year, with $1 trillion wasted only in the United States. If wasted food was a country, it would be the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after the United States and China. While food waste in Europe is so bad, it could feed 200 million hungry people annually.

After the keynote, a short video from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver was played, adding a lighter, more amusing side to this serious issue and helping to round off the presentation before the Q&A session.

The questions rolled with unparalleled fervour, proving once again that Hotelschool The Hague students are not only knowledgeable in this field, but also greatly dedicated to finding new solutions for the future.

The event was rounded off with a heated debate between the proposition team (consisting of Mr Wang, Mr Lee and Mr Spruijt) and the opposition team (consisting of Mr Serraris, Mr Plijnaar and Mr Van Rheede). The motion stated that “The EU should enforce taxes on food waste in the hospitality and retail industries”, and was won in the end by the opposition.   

The event was closed off by an hour of drinks and networking which further sparked numerous intriguing conversations.

The Global Citizenship Series Team would like to thank all guests and attendees for participating!

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Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, the Hotelschool has become an international school specialised in hospitality management offering a 4-year Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13 month Master Hospitality Management programme is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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