We fight food waste with deliciousness!

Food waste: a daily battle at Novae

It can’t be stopped completely. Food waste occurs at every level of the supply chain, from downgraded produce left in the fields, to the leftovers on our plates. But thanks to Novae’s model of direct partnership with agricultural producers — no middlemen — we can take steps to reduce it significantly. Especially by working directly with farmers.

A fine example of this approach is the 15,000 jars of jam distributed in various Novae restaurants and as gift sets at the end of the year — all produced from 2 tonnes of downgraded fruit! This project reflects our values: local produce, homemade, and all prepared in a convivial atmosphere by our chefs.

6 questions for Charlotte Ioan, Purchasing manager

How did you come up with the idea of jars of jam?

The idea was to find a gift that reflected Novae’s image that was in line with our values and, of course, that was tasty and gourmand. In addition to the challenges of offering a zero-waste product with local flavors, we also had to comply with shelf life requirements.

Who were the producers involved in this project?

We worked in partnership with two local growers: first came Pitteloud Fruits in Martigny, Valais Canton, who contacted us about 2 tons of downgraded apricots, either to be processed or thrown away. We saved them! Then came the Hurni-Fiechter family, in Bienne, who supplied us with 800 kg of plums, picked when ripe from their orchard in Woben in the canton of Bern. Both have been Novae partners since 2019.

Do you have any stories to tell us about these partners?

These 2 producers have 3 things in common: red fruits in season, sustainable agriculture, and proximity to our chefs and purchasing. As in any communicative community, contact was made with Novae via word-of-mouth between producers!

Are other projects like this planned?

This project is in line with our sourcing policy: to work with what produce is available, rather than forcing the availability of produce for our work. Limiting food waste upstream, at our direct suppliers, is a priority for the purchasing team.

This project is the result of the dynamic synergy between our executive chefs, the purchasing department, and field teams. Go Team Novae!

How long have you been with Novae?

I’ve been with Novae since May 2015.