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Title: Investigating post flight food waste management policies and procedures within the airline catering industry : a study of Airchefs South Africa
Authors: Sambo, Nompumelelo Priscilla 
Keywords: Post-flight food waste;Airline catering;Food waste hierarchy;Corporate social responsibility
Issue Date: 2018
Inflight catering is an old practice that has been in existence since the beginning of air travel. The ability for airlines to execute this practice has evolved over the years as airline travel becomes more common and accessible. This has created a lot of food waste especially post-flight. The processes and procedures of the handling of food waste within the airline catering industry in South Africa are to dispose of it into landfills. Food waste has been studied and seen to be unethical and to have negative effects to the environment.
The immediate objectives of this study was to measure the post-flight food waste and look for ways to improve the post-flight food waste procedures in the airline catering industry in consideration of the food waste hierarchy and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
This study used a mixed method approach. An interview was conducted with management to unpack the food waste management policy, a questionnaire to get employees perceptions as well as a waste audit to quantify and categorise the food waste by route. To complete the investigation, a costing exercise was conducted on the post-flight food waste. A coding method and descriptive analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. Statistical analysis was used for the quantitative data.
The regulations and policies governing the food industry were reported as the major stumbling blocks in changing catering companies’ food waste policies. A high percentage of respondents perceived some of the food waste to still be edible and could be donated. Post-flight food waste amounts to an average of 2129592g (2129kg) and R484 337.63 in a four day period. The route with the most waste was found to be regional routes with 772668g and international flights yielded the least waste at 657014g in the four day period of data collection. The categories of food that yield the most waste

were found to be butter, dessert, starters, filled rolls, cheese, crackers, yoghurt, breads/croissants, jam and chocolates all yielded above 5 % of the total waste.
The study concluded that the best way to deal with the phenomenon of post-flight food was to prevent it through reconsidering the catering needs of passengers. Some steps such as food donations are not applicable because of the high risk of food poisoning. In consideration of corporate social responsibility, airline catering companies need invest money to update its technology and infrastructure in the interest of reducing land filling and maximising profits. Be that as it may there can be immediate changes to the handling of domestic post-flight food waste as this waste can be reused by channeling it towards donations, animal feeding, the creation of bio-fuel and or creating compost but subject to proper handling
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management Sciences: Hospitality and Tourism, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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