Waste not, want not: Durrell’s fight against food waste

According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), UK households throw away 4.5 million tonnes of edible food each year. A whole quarter of this is due to cooking or serving too much, which costs households a combined £3.5 billion annually.  

At Durrell, tackling food waste is a top priority. Reducing food waste saves money, time, and resources and is better for the planet. From growing food on-site to using more sustainable methods in our two Jersey Zoo kitchens, discover how we have reduced food waste by 8kg daily.

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Our organic farm team are based behind the scenes at the zoo, using eco-friendly “no-dig” methods of farming all year round. Last year, the farm produced a fantastic 3,000kg of food. Most of the produce feeds the zoo’s animals, including some of the world’s most unique and endangered species.  

Nothing should go to waste! Fresh vegetables not fed to the animals are used wisely in our two on-site cafes. Our hospitality team have been tackling food waste in multiple ways to ensure that all food products are utilised, minimising food waste. 

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Guests can find Café Firefly in the Visitor Centre or may choose to dine at Café Dodo, within the zoo. Behind closed kitchen doors, excess vegetables are made into fresh soups, delicious garnishes, or vegetarian tartlets. Any surplus tomatoes are used to make fresh pizza sauce for our pizzas, and excess berries or fruit is made into coulis on cakes or healthy breakfast yoghurts. 

If there are no surplus vegetables available for these dishes, the hospitality team use second-grade “wonky” vegetables. Misshapen and unique, all nutritious vegetables are loved in these kitchens! 

Durrell continues to champion a more sustainable approach to hospitality and dining and provides guests with nutritious meals throughout the year. We work hard to be inclusive, source our ingredients locally and ensure any animal-related products are from high welfare standard sources whilst minimising any waste we generate.