Pride on our Plates welcomes EU Delegation to Beijing

April 15, 2024


On March 27, 2024,  the Pride on our Plates initiative, funded by SWITCH-Asia, hosted a delegation from the European Union at Little Hanging Pear Soup restaurant in Beijing. This event showcased some of the innovative approaches introduced to reduce food waste within China’s MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises) restaurants.

The esteemed EU delegation was headed by Mr. Jean-Louis Ville, Head of East Asia and the Pacific Unit, DG INTPA of the European Commission, and Ms. Ellen Kelly, Ms. Alessandra Lepore, and Ms. Feng Mei from the EU Delegation to China. The delegation was joined by representatives from Rare China Center for Behavior, World Wide Fund for Nature Beijing Office, and Beijing Catering Industry Association. Together, guests exchanged experiences and insights on food waste reduction strategies, highlighting the pivotal role of collaborative efforts in fostering sustainable practices.

Little Hanging Pear Soup restaurant became a pilot restaurant in the Pride on our Plates initiative in October 2023. With support from the Rare China Center for Behavior, the restaurant has implemented various innovative behavioral tools, which has resulted in a 16.47% reduction in overall food waste. The introduction of “Jasmine,” an unlikely social media star, as the face of their food waste reduction campaign has captured the attention of guests and garnered widespread support for the cause.

The restaurant’s advocacy efforts include encouraging customers to order moderately, which has reshaped consumer behavior and led to a 33% reduction in observed customer leftovers. This approach, coupled with the integration of food waste treatment equipment and a precision procurement system, has not only minimized waste but also significantly reduced operational costs.

The delegation was impressed by the restaurant’s dedication to sustainability and its utilization of cutting-edge technologies and behavioral insights to drive impactful change. Mr. Jean-Louis Ville shared: “Food waste is a priority theme of the EU SWITCH-Asia program, and we are delighted to see the proactive steps taken by Little Hanging Pear Soup restaurant in promoting green and sustainable practices within the catering industry”.

Shiyang Li, General Manager of Rare China Center for Behavior highlighted that “Through our behavior intervention toolbox, we’ve empowered pilot restaurants to craft solutions tailored to their unique needs. Take, for instance, the ‘duck ambassador’—a clever tactic fostering genuine connections with guests. We stand ready to collaborate with hospitality stakeholders, and work with them to reduce waste and encourage uptake of a low-carbon and planet-friendly lifestyle among the Chinese public.”

As the visit concluded, it became evident that initiatives like Pride on our Plates serve as catalysts for positive change, uniting stakeholders in a shared mission to combat food waste and pave the way for a more sustainable future. The collaboration between Little Hanging Pear Soup restaurant and its partners exemplifies the transformative power of collective action, offering inspiration for a greener, more sustainable world.