Waste food

Meet the Festival Vision: 2025 Team: Mark Laurie, Lead on Food & Drink

“ Food that costs the Earth… “

Mark Laurie is a director of the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS), the industry body for Festival and Street-Food caterers and part of the Steering Group for Powerful Thinking. Inspired by the Green Traders awards at Glastonbury in 2011 & 2012, Mark and NCASS worked with the SRA (Sustainable Restaurant Association) to develop the UK’s first sustainability training course for festival caterers on behalf of NCASS. Since 2015 Mark has developed the 8th Plate Food Waste Project which diverts usable food waste, that would have gone to landfill, from festivals to charities helping people living in food poverty. Mark will be heading up the Food & Drink chapter in the new Show Must Go On report – part of Festival Vision:2025. Here he explains why food is costing us the earth…

“The food industry generates a quarter of all global GHG emissions making it an essential part of the fight to limit global warming and climate change. Around half of all food produced globally goes to waste. Transportation, single use packaging, water use, de-forestation, land degradation waste are all areas of concern that will need to be addressed very soon if we are to avoid the worst of climate change. The temporary nature of festivals can compound the problem with short selling windows leading to post event waste, over supply of food and a disposable culture. Food should be the low hanging fruit of the climate fight. Greater efficiencies, awareness and cultural change both from business and consumers can help us to reduce our impact and overcome hunger. One in 8 people in the world goes hungry every day but half of the food produced globally is wasted.

The food chapter of the new edition Show Must Go On report will look at the impact of the food industry at events on the environment, identifying areas where events can have an impact, often at neutral cost or better. We aim to show how festivals can limit the environmental impact of food provision for their events, including caterer sourcing, single use packaging, food waste and water while inspiring change in the habits of their customers. “      

Check out the Festival Vision:2025 crowdfunder campaign to see how you can support the festival industry to come together around a vision of sustainable events – researching best practices and innovations and creating up-to-date resources, like The Show Must Go On edition 2, to help event organisers cut their environmental impacts: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/festivalvision2025