Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sustainability Takes Center Stage at Dundee Food Festival 2024 – Scottish Business News

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The Dundee Food Festival 2024, held July 6-7, transformed the city centre into a vibrant hub of culinary delights and eco-friendly initiatives.

The event, the first of its kind in Dundee, focused on sustainability and showcased the city’s commitment to environmentally conscious practices and local food culture.

Sustainability at the Core

The festival’s primary objective was to highlight food systems’ significant role in global emissions while inspiring attendees to make more informed and sustainable food choices.

Central to the event was a Sustainable Food Charter, which participating organisations committed to uphold.

This charter prioritised using locally sourced seasonal produce, minimising food waste, and eliminating single-use plastics.

The Lord Provost of the City of Dundee, Bill Campbell, said: “I’m thrilled that the Dundee food and drink festival is taking place in the city centre because the footfall around the city centre is accessible to so many people, and there is an excellent public transport system coming in. 

“It’s a great fit with what the council are trying to do with sustainability.”

Chef Dean Banks on Sustainable Practices

One of the festival’s highlights was a sustainability-focused Q&A session with Chef Dean Bank, MasterChef: The Professionals finalist, at Temple Lane Bar.

He shared insights into integrating sustainability into professional kitchens and collaborating with local producers.

Speaking with Scottish Business News, Mr Banks, said: “The keyword of sustainability is quality; anything you use that is sustainable is usually of better quality.”

“Changing your suppliers or the products you’re buying is a simple fix to be sustainable.

“When it’s down to the packaging, it’s essential to stay away from anything that’s non-compostable and even things in the kitchen so it’s not going into the landfill.

“Even in the corporate world, many big companies will only book with us now if they know that we are going towards sustainable, or we are sustainable.

“Our food was delivered to the festival in an electric vehicle this weekend.

“We try to keep all the carbon footprints to an absolute minimum.”

Festival Hub at the City Square

Beyond Food: A Holistic Approach to Sustainability

The festival featured a striking visual element in the form of the iconic Dundee sign, which received an eco-friendly makeover.

Each letter was wrapped in recycled fabrics, adorned with local flowers, and set on a base of jute.

This redesign blended elements of sustainability, local flowers, and cultural heritage, paying homage to Dundee’s industrial past while embracing its sustainable future.

The festival extended its focus beyond culinary offerings to encompass broader sustainability themes:

  • The Dundee Cycle Hub hosted activities at the Waterfront, promoting accessible active travel.
  • Scientists from local institutions led talks on various aspects of food sustainability.
  • Nature-based crafts included vegetable printing on tote bags and flower-pounding activities.

Jennifer Carroll, Relationship & Communication Lead for Scotland, said: “We’re bringing some nature-based crafts along; we have printing on tote bags with vegetables, potatoes, and mushrooms, and we’re also bringing flower pounding.”

Impact and Future Outlook

By focusing on sustainability, the Dundee Food Festival 2024 did more than celebrate local flavours—it showcased how food events can be both delicious and environmentally responsible.

This approach aligns with Dundee’s broader sustainability goals and sets a positive example for future events in the city and beyond.

The festival’s success in integrating sustainability demonstrates that culinary celebrations can play a significant role in promoting eco-friendly practices and fostering community engagement in environmental issues.

As Dundee continues its journey towards becoming a more sustainable city, events like this food festival serve as essential milestones, educating and inspiring residents and visitors alike to consider the environmental impact of their food choices.

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