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Posted by Madeline on 19/05/14

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Festival Traders – Reducing Food Waste

How to Cut Down Your Food Waste!


Not only is food waste a huge emitter of Co2, but an estimated 870 million people – or around 1 in 8 people globally – live in hunger around the world (The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO).

Festivals produce thousands of tonnes of food waste each year. Food traders, you can help by reducing and recycling your food waste!

Guide Contents:
1. Sustainable Festivals
2. Festival Traders
2.1 Reducing Food Waste
2.2 Recycling Packaging
3. Festival Organisers 


Preventing Food Waste


Purchasing and Ordering

* Design a lean menu using fewer ingredients.Menu Blackboard
* Use core items across the menu. Then, if one dish sells well, it can use up the core item from another dish that might not be selling so well. A good example is tomatoes that can be roasted, made into soups, garnish and used in salads.
* A ’Special Dish of the Day’ is a good way to use up food approaching its use-by date.



From thesra.org

* Avoid excess trimming of fish, meat and vegetables.
* Use herbs such as parsley, basil and coriander in their entirety. The stalks are perfectly yummy!
* Consider offering vegetables with their skins on. Peeling potatoes can reduce your yield by 15% so opt for skin-on chips!
* Use trimmings to make other dishes.
* Make breadcrumbs or croutons from leftover bread.


Portion size

* Offer the same dish in different portion sizes to suit customers appetites.

Download: Poster on portion sizing.


Redistributing Surplus Food


* Ask the festival organiser if they have any arrangements for redistributing surplus food.

Fareshare - Redistribute Food

Case Study:

FareShare is an example of a UK charity redistributing quality food to help relieve food poverty. They redistribute surplus, ‘fit for purpose’ food from the food and drink industry to organisations working with disadvantaged people.

Last summer their Festival Food Recycling Service saved over 2,000kg of surplus food from waste at UK festivals. They also took their restaurant, The Surplus Supper Club, to Shambala, Bestival and Camp Bestival. 


Food Bin Poster

See ‘Poster Creator’ on zerowastescotland.org.uk

Recycling Food Waste


* Find out if the festival organiser is recycling food waste. If they are, you will need to separate food waste from your general waste.

* Check what food waste items can be recycled.

* Ask about the food waste bins – where will they be located, whose responsibility is it to put waste into the bins?

* Ensure all your staff know about the festival’s food waste recycling scheme. Ask the festival organiser if they have any posters or signs to help communicate the scheme. You might find some of your staff are familiar with food waste recycling because they recycle at home – many local councils offer household food waste collections with brown food caddies.

* For info on what food and drinks packaging can be recycled together with food waste, see the packaging section of this sustainable festival guide.

Download: Food Bin Poster

Case Study:

Glastonbury Festival has been composting food waste since 2004. At first it was been driven to Hereford to be composted but now they’ve sourced a composting facility in Castle Cary, just 5 miles from the festival site.

(i)  Typically when food waste is disposed of with general waste, it is send to landfill (rubbish dumps).  Here it breaks down anaerobically (in the absence of oxygen) and produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. If food waste is collected separately however, it’s mainly treated in one of two ways: by anaerobic digestion (AD) or in-vessel composting (IVC).

When sent to an IVC plant, the food waste breaks down into compost within 12 weeks – ready to be used on agricultural land.

When sent for AD, it not only produces a bio-fertiliser (again to be used on the land) but the methane released is also captured and used to generate electricity, mains gas, heat, or transport fuel. 

So by recycling food waste via IVC or AD, we can help lower greenhouse gas emissions!




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