– This year we pick up coffee grounds from the festival. Next year, the goal is for us to collect all the food waste from Gladmaten, together with the coffee grounds, so that we can grow mushrooms on it, but we found out just a little too late for this year, says Ingrid Sandvik.
Together with her husband Joakim Arrestad Skarpsno, she runs the mushroom farm Topp Sopp. Here they grow mushrooms on other people’s waste, which this year involves Gladmaten’s coffee grounds. They are one of this year’s exhibitors, and now they are also working on the project development to collect all the food waste from the food festival next year.
Started last year
Norway’s largest food festival is underway in Stavanger. For four days, 158 exhibitors will saturate the stomachs of streets full of people. With over 200,000 visitors each year, this can result in a lot of food waste.
Last year, Gladmatfestivalen started work on becoming Norway’s most circular food festival. Then they started measuring sustainability. In addition, they increased the sorting rate from 3.7 percent to 54 percent. This is a measure of the sorting job being done. The more that is recycled, the higher it gets.
This year, they continue the work with sorting stations, and communication with exhibitors and the public. In addition, they have food waste as a theme in the program in the new festival arena, Kokepunktet.
Sandvik is happy with the focus on sustainability. To pick up the coffee grounds have they delivered their own barrels to the tents, which they replace every day.
– It is one of the key values in our company, so for us it is music, it is completely magical. I think that we generally need to be much more aware of it, so the fact that we can help and do it on a large scale is really nice, she says.
– Food festivals important arena for reaching people
In 2020, Norwegians threw over 450,000 tonnes of food, and each of us threw away an average of almost 85 kilos of food.
– I think it is great and important that Gladmat has so much focus on food waste. They have set goals, and that is the most important thing. Then you can measure the effect the various measures have had, says communications manager at Matvett, Anne Marie Schrøder.
Matvett is the food and catering industry’s company for preventing and reducing food waste in the value chain. In collaboration with several actors, Matvett has developed its own trade fair model, which they want organizers of trade fairs and festivals to look into..
In addition, Matvett has created a “Resource Pyramid” that shows step by step how you can use the food instead of it ending up in the trash.
– Gladmat is a nice arena for influence because it is normally difficult to reach out with such information to private households, says Schrøder.
Cooks with leftover food
Several of these points Matvett shows, Gladmat will follow.
This year, some of the food leftovers will be used further in the festival, while the rest of the food waste will be turned into biogas.
– Food waste is something that we have taken extra care of this year, which we have to work extra with. We can not just talk about it, says Frode Selvaag, who is a chef at Kokepunktet during the Gladmatfestivalen.
In Kokepunkten, cooking competitions are also held, where Selvaag is the judge. Here they are measured, among other things, on how much they throw in the bucket, how they utilize the raw materials and how they separate and take care of the food waste.
– The motivation is that in the world today, we have a huge problem with us throwing too much food. When we are such a big food festival with so many good chefs and food-loving people, we have to do something about it, says Selvaag.
The general manager of Gladmat, Maren Skjelde explains that it is not just the food that is reused.
– We put an incredible amount of work into facilitating increased sorting among our visitors and exhibitors, she says.
Last year, Gladmatfestivalen developed environmental stations and reusable signs. These will be used again this year. The environmental stations encourage the public to sort rubbish and are located around the festival area. Here you get the opportunity to sort glass, food waste, deposit and residual waste.
– At the same time, we are completely dependent on help from the public. With so many visitors, we have to pull this load together. Then we can really make a difference, says Skjelde