Home > Leadership, The Monday Musings Column > musing on excess over the festive season

musing on excess over the festive season

“Everyone has lots of leftovers at Christmas” said the voice from the TV as I was washing up after dinner this evening.

It isn’t true for everyone of course, for there are many around the world who will go hungry this and every evening and many more who will have barely sufficient, but certainly here in the UK there will be excess; just a look at what is going through the check-outs at any supermarket should convince you of that and it will get worse (or better if you are a supplier) over the next three weeks.

The overbuying of anything at any time is an anathema to me, for I am a supply chain anorak first and last, but in business it does happen. Estimating demand is an art and whilst computer modelling of supply chains has become very sophisticated in many sectors there are still errors to be made, but these are normally genuine mistakes rather than deliberate overbuying.

It is astonishing that not only is there a food shopping frenzy on the run up to Christmas, but that with the stores only shut for a day, we are back at it the day after and how much of what is bought gets thrown away?

Maybe you feel that the supermarket chains need your cash; that you are being charitable in your efforts to bolster their flagging profits and helping to keep people employed. A noble enough cause perhaps, but plunging fuel costs are helping their margins.

I don’t normally make a big thing of charity, I do what I do and leave it at that, but hearing those words on TV made me think a little and some I will make this proposal: why not think about what you are planning to spend on food this holiday season, donate ten percent of that figure to a food related charity of your choice and only but ninety percent of what you planned to stock up on?

Not an original idea by any means, but many of my readers here are in the facilities management profession where sustainability and waste reduction are a way of life.

Just a thought, and thanks to Si King of the Hairy Bikers for having uttered the words that prompted my thinking about it.


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