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EighthPlate project creates over 53,000 meals for those most in need
At the beginning of the summer festival season, the EighthPlate project set out to salvage unsold food from festivals and create thousands of meals for the most vulnerable people in society, also saving perfectly edible food from going to landfill.
The project collected over 22 tonnes of food and created 53,460 meals, which have been distributed throughout the South West.
The combined venture between FareShare South West, NCASS and A Greener Festival aims to highlight the need for sustainability, while reducing the amount of edible food that is thrown away each year.
The team attended seven festivals during the summer months, including Glastonbury, Boomtown, Bestival and WOMAD. There were over 1000 traders across the seven events and 30% of them had surplus food, which they were able to donate to the project.
Emma Dyer, project manager for EighthPlate said: "In the trial run in 2014, we collected over 10 tonnes of salvaged food, this year we engaged with 183 traders and collected over 22 tonnes. Without our services this surplus food would have just been sent to landfill, but instead we have been able to help some valuable charities along the way. We are now keen to look to next year, working with traders and event organisers to create a toolkit to help reduce waste."
EighthPlate collected over 22 tonnes of edible food waste from festivals this year including over 24,000 bread rolls, 3,432 eggs, 461 chickens, 9,205 carrots, 937 litres of milk and 1644 cabbages. The collections allowed the team to make over 5000 meals for the most vulnerable people in society and distributed the equivalent of 47,620 meals in uncooked fresh fruit and vegetables.
Mark Laurie, Director at NCASS, said: "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. Our ultimate aim is to help our members manage their stock as effectively as possible to minimise waste. Where inefficiencies do occur though, we should be looking to help the people that need it most. These results show that the scheme has worked 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 people in need is something we feel very strongly about."
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