Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world’s largest airline catering providers, announced that it has committed to reducing food waste by 35% across its central operations in Dubai. EKFC selected Winnow as its technology partner to embed Artificial Intelligence across its production facilities to drive down wastage.
EKFC operate a state-of-the-art complex dedicated to servicing the flights ofover 100 airlines. With a built-up area of over 56,000m2, it’s the largest facility of its kind in the world. At peak production levels the facility can prepare 225,000 meals per day.
The EKFC culinary team has already established a baseline with Winnow and are now working towards a 35% reduction target in its central operations. To meet this target, the team will be using Winnow Vision, Winnow’s flagship AI product which harnesses the power of computer vision and machine learning.
The project follows previous efforts to reduce food wastage across EKFC. In the financial year 2019-20 close to 500 kilogrammes of food items, including fruits, vegetables, bakery items and meat, were saved each day to be used in small goods, or were reused for different purposes in the company’s retail operations.
EKFC has also been working closely with many of its airline customers to analyse consumption trends and use predictive data to optimise the loading of F&B for in-flight catering. Analysis of on-board data not only reduces waste but also fuel burn associated with carrying excess weight.
Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering, said: “We are dedicated to investing in the latest technologies to optimise our operations and minimise our environmental footprint. Food waste management has always been an area of focus for EKFC and we have already achieved remarkable results through improved data collection and reporting.
“Implementing new ways of working, supported by technology will help us step up to the next level and further enhance operational efficiency. We look forward to delivering on our ambitious goal of reducing food waste by more than one-third across our central operations.”
Food waste is also an increasingly hot topic throughout the region with the UAE wasting an estimated 13 billion Dirhams worth of food per year. The National Food Waste Pledge, an initiative led by the Ministry Of Climate Change And Environment (MOCCAE) convened hospitality leaders across the UAE to prevent 3 million meals a year from being wasted by the end of 2020. As well as EKFC, other signatories include Majid Al Futtaim, Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Jumeirah and Emaar Hospitality.
Marc Zornes, CEO and co-founder of Winnow, said: “We are delighted to partner with Emirates Flight Catering helping them in their quest to cut their food waste by 35%. Food waste is a global problem that we must solve urgently to combat the effects of climate change. Artificial Intelligence has an important role to play in reducing avoidable wastage, and forward-thinking foodservice providers like Emirates Flight Catering prove that this technology delivers real world results for both people and planet.”