Dr Kenyon explained the reason for the visit:
“Dr Eliza Burrai and I teach Ethical Tourism Business Management and felt that a visit to the Real Junk Food Project to see how Adam Smith’s (founder of Real Junk Project) vision could help change the way we think about food waste.
“Our students are Masters students in Responsible Tourism Management. Our module explores how businesses within the tourism, travel, hospitality, leisure industry can be ethical. Students review global and local companies to establish their social, environmental and economic impact, therefore, we explore environmental issues and waste from businesses.
“Over a billion tonnes of food is wasted each year; many of us buy too much and carelessly throw away edible food. Our students saw how food waste can be diverted and used in café’s to provide meals on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis. Kevin Mackay provided us with invaluable information on how to set up a Real Junk Food Supermarket and café or take food to schools and educate children on how we should think about waste food from environmental and nutritional points of view”.
“Many tourism organisations have excellent policies regarding their social and environmental policies; responsible ways in dealing with or cutting down on food waste being one of them. Therefore, it was very interesting for our students to see how the Real Junk Food Project deals with food waste in the hope that our students can take forward their ethos and philosophy to their future job roles.”
The students were very enthusiastic about the project.
Hansi, studying MSc Responsible Tourism, said:
“I visited the Junk Food Project supermarket and café in Leeds as a study tour. It was an interesting exposure about the whole process of business and the community benefits derived from this project. I'm amazed about the whole process and, as an international student, this is very novel thing for me. Food wastage is very high in my country, Sri Lanka, but unfortunately we don't have such brilliant people to take actions and advantages from the excess food supplies. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff of Junk Food Project supermarket in Leeds and the café as well as my module lecturers who contributed to deliver this new experience for us.”
Imke, studying MSc Responsible Tourism, added:
“I very much enjoyed the excursion. It was very inspiring to hear and see how quickly this project grew from an idea into a business that helps and gives purpose to so many. I particularly liked how inclusive it was, transcending societal barriers. The open source concept appears to have the potential to upscale this idea and still allow for a local identity. The project has a very important message more people need to hear about.”
Armley Junk-tion café is situated at 1 Chapel Lane, Armley, Leeds, LS12 2DJ.