The Porthleven Food Festival recognises that the events industry has a direct impact on the local, regional and global environment. The Porthleven Food Festival is committed to mitigating these impacts wherever possible. As such, we work closely with suppliers to minimise the environmental and social impacts associated with the products and services provided.

The ways in which we try to reduce the environmental impact of the festival include:

  • Reducing carbon emissions from both power generation and transportation / travel
  • Reducing our output of single use plastic and other pollution
  • Managing waste responsibly
  • Evaluating our methods, improving our practice, and raising awareness

Reducing Carbon Emissions

We work closely with the local council, businesses and landowners to ensure the event can be run solely on mains grid power, and no petrol / diesel generators are used across site.

Sourcing from local and sustainably committed suppliers can reduce the environmental impact of an event, particularly due to the reduction in carbon emissions associated with transportation. 95% of our suppliers and contractors are sourced from within a 40 mile radius, with the remainder coming from Devonshire or closer. This also means that we can support local businesses and stimulate the local economy.

We also strive to ensure that local / smaller traders and exhibitors are not discriminated against in the application process by offering a discount to local applicants within a radius of the Helston area, encouraging local businesses to participate.

The same applies to food products, which we ask traders to source locally and sustainably wherever possible, reducing food miles. We support local agriculture by way of Our Royal Cornwall Food & Farming tent, which aims to promote Cornish artisans, agricultural producers, and other purveyors of local food and craft for a fair and affordable pitch fee.

We encourage the public to walk, cycle or use public transport via promotion across our website and social media channels. The event provides an affordable shuttle service from Helston that can be easily joined by other means of public transport.

Reducing Plastic and Other Pollution

A Green Trader Policy has been adopted, and is enforced on site by our trader managers to provide guidance in meeting our aims. The main objectives of the Green Trader Policy are to prevent use of single use plastic, polystyrene, and other non-environmentally friendly packaging being used at the festival, to preserve the condition of the ocean and local environment, to ensure that cooking oil is disposed of cleanly and responsibly, and to ensure that where possible, produce is locally and ethically sourced.

We have endeavoured to further reduce our output of single use plastic by serving all cupped beverages in Veg-ware. We have removed the sale of bottled water on our bars, and water refill points are available free of charge all over the site, in keeping with Porthleven’s ‘Refill Porthleven’ scheme to reduce the sale and use of plastic water bottles.

We have further reduced our output by providing our event programme and other event literature as digital downloads, making all of event signage and branding reusable (or out of recycled wood when not possible), and avoid excessive paper usage by hosting all of our event documentation and correspondence digitally.

Managing Waste Responsibly

Through a process of trial and experience, we have found that an offsite sorting solution is most effective for our event. Instead of onsite recycling bins, which are prone to cross contamination (thereby reducing effectiveness and adding another sorting step and milage to the process) we use mixed waste bins which are removed and sorted off site at the recycling plant. This has successfully minimised our waste tonnage to landfill and reduced our waste milage.

Our on-site waste management team are present at all times throughout the event, to keep the town clean and tidy, and to prevent event litter entering the harbour.

Post event, following final clean up, we work with the Porthleven Environmental Group who conduct beach cleans to dispose of any missed bits of litter.

Evaluation, Improvement, and Awareness

After each event we evaluate the success of the measures taken via verbal and web feedback, and online surveys. Where possible we provide all stakeholders, attendees and suppliers the opportunity to provide feedback focused on the areas of environmental, economic and socio-cultural impact.

Upon compiling this data we produce and publish an impacts analysis, which we use in comparison with past years data, as well as data from industry leaders and competitors to identify successes and failures, and to inform our strategy for development and improvement. This analysis helps us to make others aware of our practice, and the direct and indirect effects of our event locally and globally.

We also make use of carbon calculators to assess the emissions generated by the event, in an effort to see this figure reduced year upon year through better practice and streamlining of systems.