Post-flight food waste and corporate social responsibility at South Africa Airways: Perceptions of employees at Air Chefs South Africa.
KeywordsPost-flight food waste
Corporate Social Responsibility
Hospitality industry. Hotels, clubs, restaurants, etc. Food service
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AbstractPassengers seldom eat all the food that they are served in-flight, therefore food waste generally forms a large part of cabin waste amid food insecurity, starvation and poverty in a greater part of Africa and globally. Airline kitchens are tasked to deliver a wide variety of high quality meals on board as part of the competitive strategy in the industry. Previous academic research quantified food waste to understand social behavior of specified groups and address portion sizes. There is no known study that has looked at airline catering food waste management in conjunction with the Food Waste Hierarchy (FWH) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The waste hierarchy is a management tool that concentrates on giving guidance on how waste can be prevented, reused, recycled and recovered before disposal. CSR aims at ethical corporate governance considering the people, the planet and profits (triple bottom line) instead of focusing on just the bottom line. It is a voluntary integration of social and environmental concerns into management strategies and business operations. Air Chefs is the market leader in the Southern Africa airline food services and provides food services for South African Air Express, South African Airlink and Mango Airlines. Data was collected at Air Chefs Johannesburg (which is the main kitchen) using a questionnaire. The study looked at food waste from all the inbound flights on domestic, regional and international routes and discovered that much of post-flight food (in some cases even in sealed states) was disposed. While the majority of respondents would buy some post-flight food items, they seemed to know a lot about why post-flight food gets disposed as very few of them had asked for permission to eat such food.