EighthPlate, a project created to reduce the amount of edible food which is destroyed at festivals, has so far collected over 20 tonnes of food and distributed to those in need.
The initiative, which is a partnership between FareShare South West, The Nationwide Caterers Association and A Greener Festival, worked closely with traders and festival-goers at numerous festivals this summer to ensure that perfectly edible food does not end up in landfill.
The project is just over half way and is well on its way to reaching the 60 tonne target that was set at the start of the project. EighthPlate has so far collected over 20 tonnes of edible food waste from festivals including over 10,000 bread rolls, 900 eggs, 300 chickens, 1,500 carrots, 400 litres of milk and even 600 cabbages! The collections have allowed the team to make over 3,000 meals for the most vulnerable people in society and distributed the equivalent of 47,620 meals in uncooked fresh fruit and vegetables. Most recently a collection of fresh vegetables and bakery items was also sent to Southampton City Mission, which provides emergency food and clothes to those that need it most. Patrick House Hostel in Southampton also received a large delivery which will feed their 60 residents for nearly a month.
Emma Dyer, Project Manager at EighthPlate said: “The response that we have received from the traders and festival goers has been fantastic. All of the traders do their very best to control the level of waste they produce, but at a festival with thousands of people it really is a complete unknown as to how much food you will actually sell. We are overwhelmed with their generosity and the support that we have received from the festival organisers too. We look forward to working out a toolkit this winter that will help traders and event organisers work together to reduce their waste.”
Mark Laurie, Director at NCASS 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 occur we should be looking to help the people that need it most. These results show that the scheme is working and we hope that it can be rolled out across all festivals in the future. With the ever increasing costs of produce and fuel, sustainability is becoming a necessity for catering businesses rather than a luxury. NCASS will continue to support the EighthPlate project because sustainability at events is a big part of our mantra, and helping those in need is something that we feel very strongly about.”
EighthPlate will be collecting from two more festivals this summer including Shambala and End of the Road.