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Cornwall's Food Festival goes green

16th July 2012 Print
Arthur Potts Dawson

Organisers of the Cornwall Food & Drink Festival are aiming to make this year’s event the greenest festival yet.

The ninth Cornwall Food & Drink Festival, sponsored by Cornish Mutual, returns to Truro on Friday 28 – Sunday 30 September 2012 celebrating local food and drink with top chefs, foodie activities and a new focus on the environment.

This year the festival organisers have joined forces with Good Energy – the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier – who will be sponsoring the Chefs’ Theatre. Good Energy sources around one third of its electricity from Cornish wind, sunlight and water power.

Approximately thirty percent of the average household’s electricity consumption takes place in the kitchen, and in association with Good Energy renowned ‘green’ chef Arthur Potts-Dawson will be sharing some simple steps everybody can take to reduce the environmental impact of the choices they make in buying, storing and cooking food.

The author of Eat Your Veg will also show that local, natural and sustainable food is low on carbon and high on taste with two inspirational recipe demonstrations. He will be sharing tips and ideas about how to reduce energy use in the kitchen, minimise waste, and source seasonal, local ingredients which haven’t travelled for miles to get to your plate.

According to Defra*, UK households generate an estimated 8.3 million tonnes of food waste per year, 5.3 million tonnes of which is avoidable. Overall, 15% of edible food and drink purchases are wasted each year, often because it’s simply not used in time.

Arthur Potts Dawson said: “I’m really pleased to be working with Good Energy to look at new ways of adopting a low-carbon approach to cooking – from where we source food to how we cook, store and consume it.

“We are incredibly lucky in Cornwall to have an abundance of amazing produce at this time of the year. I am looking forward to cooking up some wonderful low carbon dishes using local produce.”

What’s more, anyone switching their electricity supply to Good Energy at the festival will receive £50 off their first bill.

Behind the scenes organisers have been working hard to minimise the festival’s environmental impact by introducing a raft of new measures.

As a first step towards becoming a paperless event the festival will not be producing a printed programme, instead making detailed visitor information available online at Mobile-friendly vouchers will be used for their Festival Menu promotion.

Minimising the amount of waste at the festival is another priority, with organisers promoting a “reduce, reuse and recycle” philosophy and providing eco tips and advice to exhibitors.

Ruth Huxley, festival organiser and director of Cornwall Food & Drink, said: “We represent a huge sector that is responsible for large amounts of waste, emissions and energy use. We hope to lead by example and encourage businesses to consider how they can reduce their environmental impact.

“Encouraging people to buy local not only supports the Cornish economy, but reduces food miles and helps to minimise emissions pollution.”

Organisers are also asking visitors to think about their journey to the festival, encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport wherever possible.

Set in the heart of Truro, travel to the festival couldn’t be easier with cycle racks on Lemon Quay and easy access to ferry, rail and bus services. Visitors using cars are encouraged to car share and use the Park and Ride service that runs frequently throughout the day to and from the festival site (N.B. Park and Ride is closed on Sunday).

For those travelling from further afield, First Great Western offers direct rail services to Truro from London Paddington, travelling through some of the most stunning coastal and countryside landscapes of southern England.

For more information and festival updates visit

* Statistics taken from Defra’s Food Statistics Pocket Book (2011).

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Arthur Potts Dawson