The food salvage service that collects surplus edible food from events and distributes it to organisations supporting vulnerable people

The initiative was born out of the Surplus Supper Club – a catering arm of FareShare South West – visiting festivals as a trader and carrying out informal food collections. After identifying a need for a dedicated collection service, FareShare South West teamed up with the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) and A Greener Festival to form EighthPlate.

Once I was bought on a Project Manager for EighthPlate in 2015, surplus food collections jumped from 8 tonnes a year to over 23 tonnes.

Everything that was collected was meticulously logged allowing us to publish the first reliable data on how much food is wasted at large outdoor events. This has been turned into a waste calculator to help events understand how much waste they may produce.

EighthPlate visited seven popular festivals:

Glastonbury, WOMAD, Wilderness, Boomtown, Shambala, End of the Road and Bestival.

In addition to collecting food from these festivals we also engaged over 350 events food traders to ask them why the food was going to waste in the first instance. This has been interpreted into a list of recommendations and shared with events to allow then to help their traders reduce their food watste.

For some more in depth stats, infographics, methodologies, case studies and images read the 'EighthPlate End of Year Report 2015′.

A fantastic short documentary was made about the project by Formulate Media.

The above article by Emma Dyer first published on emmadyer.co.uk in 2016.