Event managers, are you doing enough?

Categories and tags:
Autumn 2021

Have you ever thought about source of your food and the negative implications this may have? Do you carefully consider local businesses?

Now more than ever it’s vital that we’re all supporting local businesses wherever possible. Not only is there an increasing concern over the origins of where food comes from but there’s also a drive to support local industries due to growing environmental worries and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was highlighted in a survey conducted by Capgemini Research Institute which found 63% of UK consumers now plan to purchase more locally made products in the next 12 months in light of Covid-19.

Source- Unsplash

An industry that’s been particularly effected due to Covid-19 is farming. Farmers faced huge losses on their produce especially on fresh vegetables, fruits and milk products. These losses were associated with restrictions imposed by certain countries on the transportation of food and many boarders were closed. There was also a decrease in demand because of the closure of many businesses within the hospitality sector and there was no longer a need for managers to purchase their regular produce. This lack of demand caused devastating financial losses for many farmers but using local produce will enable them to get back on track again.

Source- Unsplash

It’s not only important to support local farmers to help them make up their losses but supporting locally is usually much more sustainable and research has shown that being sustainable is more important than ever to consumers. A 2020 survey conducted by Accenture, found that 60% of consumers reported making more environmentally friendly and sustainable purchases since the start of the pandemic and 9 out of 10 stated they will continue to do so.

Consumers are starting to think about the choices they make and you should too. These statistics show there is a high demand to be more sustainable and this should be carefully considered. By thinking about the source of your produce you may be making it more desirable to attendees which could result in more revenue. Which can only be a good thing, right?

The pandemic also had consumers thinking about another issue surrounding food production, food Miles and their carbon impact.

Food miles

Food miles refers to the distance food is transported from the time of production all the way until it reaches the consumer. Therefore, the further the produce has travelled, the higher the carbon impact and its negative effect on our environment. It’s important we all take action to help reduce our carbon footprints and limit these devastating impacts such as climate change. By using local farmers as food suppliers for events you’re not only helping support them and the local economy, but you’re also helping to reduce a number of carbon footprints.

Source- Pexels

What are some current examples of sustainable events?

A really good example of an event that heavily considers sustainability is Shambala. Shambala is an annual four-day festival held in Northamptonshire within the UK which usually holds around 15,000 attendees. It is a completely meat and fish free event and has been since 2016. They believe that by being more considerate with their food production, they can significantly lower the environmental impacts of their event.

Event managers at Shambala set a minimum standard for their potential food vendors and have strict ethics around sourcing food. To be offered a pitch to cater at the event, food vendors must be able to prove they use organic, Fairtrade and local supplies wherever possible. This ensures they know exactly where the food is sourced from and that their strict ethics are being followed, helping them lower the environmental impacts of their event. These system seem to have worked as the festival has managed to lower its carbon food print by a huge 80%!

Source- Unsplash

What can we do now?

There a few different things you could do as a manager to ensure you’re better supporting your local food industry.

Implement a minimum food standard.

Firstly, you could take inspiration from the event managers at Shambala festival and implement strict guidance to your food vendors that they use local food sources. By setting a minimum standard for your food vendors, you can ensure you know exactly where the food was sourced from while supporting locally and ethically. Using local farmers and their produce could create a safety blanket for attendees and may create a topic of conversation to get others thinking about those worrying impacts.

Use resources such as Cotswold Taste

Cotswold Taste is a company based within the Cotswolds, an area in south central west midlands and South West England in the UK. The aim of their company is to bring together local food and drinks suppliers that they may not have otherwise had connections together. Cotswold Taste is a member owned co-operative and provides vital advice, business, marketing and promotional support to its members and food chain producers.

If you as a manager used a similar tool when looking for food vendors for your event it would enable you to find local farms and businesses you may have not known about otherwise. Using these kind of platforms will give you opportunities to make new connections and build your client base while allowing you to ensure you’re supporting local, so everybody wins!

Source- Unsplash

By helping them, you’re helping our environment!

Would you be more likely to attend an event if you knew it was supporting local businesses?

Will you now think more about where your produce has come from and what this could mean?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments down below!


Mantvydas says:

Personally, I’d be more likely to attend a festival or an event if it supports local businesses. Sadly, a lot of people don’t understand how important local businesses are, especially when they sell their own produce.

In terms of food miles, I do think about where my food comes from and whenever I do shopping, I always ask where has the produce come from, as sometimes people will try to label it as “local or fresh”, even though that product will have come from abroad!

What procedures do you think the government should consider employing to prevent high carbon footprint output from the food suppliers and misinformation about product origin labelling?

s1802164 says:

Hi Mantvdas, thank you so much for taking a time to read our blog. It’s great to hear that you value support for local businesses. You are totally right that something need to change regarding misinformation on the labels. The first step to that was introduced in October with the Natasha Law. We hope more changes will follow.

Paul says:

Really interesting post!
I myself have started looking into the food that I buy and where it comes from and I have plans to start buying only local foods next year.
I never even considered how this all has links to the event industry… Well I know now!😄

s1802164 says:

Hi Poul,
We really appreciate that you take time to read the blog. It is really refreshing to know how many people consider food from local businesses as a better choice. We are glad that we could share with you the bigger picture on this topic.

Maria says:

Absolutely agree… we all have to support our local business. All big brands will recover quickly and have enough money behind them to carry on! Local produce is always welcomed in our home… meat, veg fruit from local farms always tastes better and you know there was love put into it!

s1802164 says:

Hi Maria,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog. We’re so glad to hear that! We completely agree, locally sourced food does always seem to taste better!

Jess says:

Well explained blog. I believe it is essential to think twice before purchasing an item as it might not be sustainable, and some food you are buying is abroad, not local. I do agree we should always support local businesses as they have more financial loss compared to big companies.

s1802164 says:

Hi Jess,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog! We’re happy to to hear your views and are glad to hear you’ll be thinking twice before purchasing an item in the future!

Leonard Perry says:

I usually do not pay attention to the sources of food items from the supermarket because I have no reason to do so. Henceforth, I am going to do so. We must support the local farmers for sustainability, as you rightly mentioned. Please, permit me to share this article with my friends.

s1802164 says:

Hi Leonard,

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We’re so happy to hear your going to think more about these things moving forward, every little bit helps! Please feel free to share with you’re friends!

charlotte says:

An interesting read of highlighting a really important topic! Everyone should be working for a more sustainable event future and supporting local business seems key in reducing our food miles. After reading this, I feel I will be far more conscious of where food has been sourced in future events.

s1802164 says:

Hey Charlotte,

We really appreciate you taking the time to read our blog. We totally agree! We’re glad you found the blog informative and that you will be more conscious of this in the future.

Zuzia says:

Wow, i had no idea how much Covid-19 affected farmers! It’s a really interesting article and i’m really happy that someone is paying attention to what’s going on and trying to inform others about it! I can’t wait for more pieces you’re gonna share with all of us!

s1802164 says:

Hey Zuzia,

We are glad to be able to share this topic with you and raise awareness of the effect that the pandemic had on local businesses.

vishal says:

This informative and very well explained blog which helps to support local food industry which ultimately supports local farmers. It is true that that Local food is fresher, healthier and tastes better, because it spends less time in transit from farm to plate, and therefore, loses fewer nutrients and incurs less spoilage. Also less wastage because of the shorter distribution chains for local foods, less food is wasted in distribution, warehousing and merchandising. Thank you for this blog

s1802164 says:

Hi Vishal,
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog. We are glad you found the blog informative and you shared your opinion about it. Thank you for the support!

Joon says:

Really educative, the increase in demand for local food will increase when patronized…especially when the goods have excellent qualities. Lovely blog, expecting to read more from you.

s1802164 says:

Hi Joon,

Thank you so much for such a positive response. Its amazing to know that this blog helps to educate others. We appreciate all the support.

Morgan Thomas says:

This was a really interesting insight into sourcing food for events using local farmers and trying to decrease food miles. I myself have been trying to decrease my food miles when picking fresh fruits and vegetables by choosing to shop with local farmers instead of using companies that ship globally

s1802164 says:

Hello Morgan,

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! We’re really glad you found the information useful and that you’re now opting to shop locally and lower your food miles.

Mary says:

Such a compelling post!

Really makes you think about the affects on local businesses, especially recently. It’s important to keep this is mind whist we go through life especially post covid.

s1802164 says:

Hello Mary,
We are happy to see that our post is making so much impact on others. It’s good to see how it opens minds and encourage to think about struggle of local businesses. Thank you for taking your time to read our blog.

Remi says:

Very interesting and informative article. As Vishal already mentioned above, local food is fresher and taste better than the food you can get in supermarkets. However sometimes it is just easier to just visit a supermarket which quite often is just around the corner than search for local farmers, shops or suppliers etc.

On the other hand it is good to hear about local initiatives such as Cotswold Taste.
I have never heard about it before but will defenitely use it in the future to find local products.

We should promote and talk more about local food not only to support local businesses but also to reduce the negative impact the long supply chains may have on the environment.

If we increase the awerness even just a bit I am sure people will be more encourage to buy locally but also to help the planet in a long run.

This article can defenitely help in that! Thanks for sharing!

s1802164 says:

Hi Remi,
We totally agree that the knowledge about possibilities in terms of choosing the food origin is still small. And obviously people intend to use the closest market in the daily rush. But we hope that undertaking this topic will help people to understand how big change they can make for others by choosing better food for themselves.
Thank you for your support and we hope you will start shopping more local now 😊

Comments are closed.