Charities aim to reduce festival food waste


UK: Launching at Glastonbury this year, three businesses are aiming to reduce the amount of edible food that is unnecessarily discarded at the end of festivals. FareShare Southwest has joined forces with The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) and A Greener Festival to donate unsold food to a range of charities. The organisations will work closely with festival traders to ensure that perfectly edible food does not end up in landfill sites.

The project – called EighthPlate – intends to salvage 60 tonnes of unsold food, to provide 143,000 meals for the most vulnerable, distributing the produce amongst food banks and soup kitchens throughout the South West. Beginning at Glastonbury, the project will target festivals throughout the summer. A trial run was conducted in 2014 with outstanding results; FareShare Southwest engaged with over 100 traders to collect and redistribute more than 10 tonnes of edible food.

Emma Dyer, Project Manager at EighthPlate said: “Following a trial run in 2014, we can’t wait to launch in earnest at Glastonbury next week! It’s estimated that more than four million people in the UK can’t afford a healthy diet and so public opinion is turning against this culture of waste; we’ve received an overwhelming response from our supporters after confirming our launch.

We’re delighted to be expanding this project after the success of last summer’s trial, as thousands of tonnes of perfectly good food is sent to landfill each year as a direct result of festivals and outdoor events. The cooperation between our three organisations highlights our collective determination to help those in need, at the same time improving and developing this innovative industry.”

NCASS Director Mark Laurie said: “The amount of food wasted at festivals can be quite high so the ultimate aim is to manage stock as effectively as possible to minimise waste. Where inefficiencies do occur we should and are looking to help the people that need it most. It’s a great cause that we are supporting and we hope that the scheme can be rolled out across all festivals in the future.”

The combined venture between FareShare Southwest, NCASS and A Greener Festival is aiming to highlight the need for sustainability, whilst reducing the amount of perfectly good food which is thrown away each year. This move builds on recent legislation in France where a law has been passed forcing supermarkets to donate unwanted food to charities.

For more information, check out FareShare Southwest’s official website.