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8th Plate – back by popular demand!

In 2015 NCASS members managed to salvage 23 tonnes of usable perishable food at seven music festivals and helped to divert it to people living in ‘food poverty’. In all 55,000 meals were created for people living in sheltered accommodation, food banks and soup kitchens with the uncooked surplus food from a handful of events.

So called because at any one time one in 8 people in the world are starving, 8th plate aimed to raise awareness about food waste and food poverty and to find practical solutions to the problem. Initially funded By WRAP and the Esme Fairbairn Foundation, the 8th plate project was an initiative between ‘A Greener Festival’, Fareshare and NCASS, the project only had funding for one year and once that dried up, it seemed that 8th plate would be no more.

But NCASS members kept asking us about 8th Plate? Why did it stop? It was such a great project. It’s such a shame.

Our Mark met up with NCASS members Chris and Alison Haritakis on his travels for a catch up (and some food) and 8th plate came up in conversation. They both thought the project was a great idea and were disappointed that it had ended as it did, the conversation soon turned to how it could work without vehicle movements on site, lots of free volunteer tickets and significant sums of money for wages and running costs. Ideas were beginning to take shape. The next day Mark and Charlotte attended Green Events & Innovations Conference (run by A Greener Festival) and met up with Claire & Emma as well as Rob who works on sustainability at Glastonbury Festival. Over a few drinks and some lively conversation 8th Plate was, theoretically at least, reborn.

2017 Making it work

The biggest challenges of the first 8th plate involved infrastructure, equipment and funding. To put staff & refrigerated vans on site, then co-ordinating the removal of food from site. However, what we do have is catering businesses keen to help, with knowledge of food safety and often, refrigerated vans.

So, we came up with a plan to provide caterers with the knowledge and tools to run much of 8th plate themselves. Where at the end of the event, the traders on site drop off any surplus food with pre-arranged traders who will store the food in their refrigerated vans and then take the food off site either to a fare share depot or a pre-arranged pick up point.

If we can make this work we can significantly reduce the costs of managing the scheme, be far more efficient with resources at our disposal and not create extra problems for events such as unhelpful traffic movement or managing volunteers. We could also make it affordable for events to contribute financially either through paying towards the costs or reducing pitch fees for those involved

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