A caters guide to conscious catering at Olympia London

FIELD TO FORK: An organiser’s guide to conscious catering

Due to catering’s disposable nature and the growing pressure to become sustainable, it’s never been more important for eventprofs to embrace conscious food practices.

The rise in environmental awareness and the mindful consumer puts emphasis on the food source, the journey and even its ultimate destination. Here are five principles for you to consider when creating conscious catering at your next event…

1. Avoid over catering

It is estimated that a third of all food produced is wasted and ultimately impacts the environment. There are steps which you can put in place to minimise this. If you find that leading up to the event your visitor numbers are not as high as originally anticipated, make sure you communicate this in a timely manner with your caterers. By doing so, vendors can more accurately estimate the volume of food required and reduce the total amount of food that is scrapped.

2. Disposal

Whilst food waste is an inevitable by‐product of many events, you can mitigate by considering a food re‐distribution program. Any salvageable goods can be sent to a local food kitchen or homeless shelter. When this is not an option, arrange your leftovers to be sent to a composite facility and transformed into energy instead. Did you know that an estimated 36,400 kilograms of waste at our venue will be converted into bio‐fuel this year?

3. Keep it local

Sourcing seasonal produce from local suppliers is not only cheaper than out‐of‐season ingredients but also better for the environment due to lower food mileage. You'll support local businesses and in turn, contribute to developing communities and boost local economy. Creating a Christmas cocktail for guests? Swap strawberries shipped from Peru for British clementines to ensure your produce has had a short field-to-fork journey. 

4. #MeatFreeMondays

More consumers than ever before are aware of the impact our diets have on the environment. The carbon footprint from livestock is extremely high when compared with fruit and vegetables, making the latter a healthier and more sustainable option. However, gone are the days where an egg and cress sandwich will satisfy the vegetarian at your event. As more of us are moving away from meat‐based diets and switching to veggie‐filled lifestyles, its vital to work with your caters to create an impressive veggie menu that even a meat lover wouldn't say no to. Looking for inspiration and want to keep up with the trends? Take a look at our latest foodie blog.

5. Reduce, re‐use, and recycle

With television programs such as Blue Planet raising awareness about the enormity of the impact plastic is having on our oceans, there has been no better time to consider what your event is doing to reduce plastic. Glastonbury festival is set to implement a site-wide ban on plastic bottles when it returns in 2019. This will encourage visitors to bring reusable water bottles instead and dramatically reduce the volume of plastic waste at the event, which sees over 200,00 visitors per year. 

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