In recent years, the spotlight on sustainability has intensified, especially in the food and beverage industry. As environmental awareness grows, so does the expectation for businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. Event catering is no exception. At Hickory, we understand the critical role we play in shaping sustainable futures through our catering services. Here, we delve into the importance of sustainability and the pressing need to reduce food waste in event catering.

The Environmental Impact of Food Waste

Food waste is one of the most significant contributors to environmental degradation. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately one-third of all food produced globally is wasted each year. This waste results in a substantial carbon footprint, contributing to climate change through the production of greenhouse gases like methane, which is released when organic waste decomposes in landfills.

For event caterers, the stakes are particularly high. Events often involve large gatherings where food is abundant, and the risk of over-preparation and subsequent waste is significant. By prioritising waste reduction, caterers can help mitigate these environmental impacts and contribute to a healthier planet.

Strategic Planning and Portion Control

One of the most effective ways to reduce food waste is through meticulous planning. This involves continually updating guest numbers, understanding their dietary preferences, and designing menus accordingly. Portion control can also help in minimizing waste without compromising on the overall event experience.

Sourcing Local and Seasonal Ingredients

Using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation and storage. It also supports local producers and promotes biodiversity.

Hickory created a 30 mile menu that uses local suppliers and locally sourced ingredients without compromising on taste or choice. On the contrary, fresh, local ingredients often provide superior flavours that enhance the dining experience.

Embracing Plant-Based Options

Incorporating more plant-based dishes into event menus can significantly reduce the environmental impact of catering. Plant-based foods typically require fewer resources to produce and generate lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to meat and dairy products. Offering a variety of delicious vegetarian and vegan options can appeal to a broader audience and promote sustainability.

Eco-friendly Serving Solutions

The choice of serving ware also plays a crucial role in sustainable event catering. Opting for biodegradable, compostable, or reusable plates, cutlery, and glasses can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of an event. At Hickory, we prioritise eco-friendly serving solutions to align with our sustainability goals.

The Benefits of Sustainable Catering

Embracing sustainability in event catering offers numerous benefits beyond environmental impact reduction. It enhances our reputation as a brand helping to attract eco-conscious clients who value green practices. Sustainable catering also fosters innovation and creativity in menu planning, as our team of chefs explore new ways to minimize waste and utilize every ingredient fully.

Moreover, adopting sustainable practices can lead to cost savings. Efficient food management reduces the costs associated with excess food production and disposal. Investing in local and seasonal ingredients can also be more economical, especially when sourced directly from producers.

Hickory’s Commitment to Sustainability

“We are dedicated to leading by example in the event catering industry. Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in every aspect of our service, from menu planning to waste management. We continuously seek innovative solutions to enhance our environmental stewardship and ensure that every event we cater contributes positively to the planet” says Charlotte Thompson Head of Operations at Hickory.

Whether you are planning a corporate event, a wedding, or a community gathering, choosing a caterer committed to sustainability is a step towards a greener, more responsible celebration. Let’s work together to create events that are not only memorable but also mindful of our planet.