What’s happening? COP26 delegates will be served sustainable, locally-sourced food at the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow.
Overall, 95 per cent of the food will be from the UK, largely sourced from Scotland, and be seasonal. This will put sustainability at the heart of catering for the summit, reducing emissions and promoting environment-friendly food production.
How is the food sustainable? COP26 will set an example for other large-scale international events, in terms of food sourcing, by taking a number of measures to ensure a sustainable approach, including:
- Ingredients will be replicated across the conference’s menus to ensure produce can be repurposed for other meals, if necessary, to avoid food waste.
- The cups used to serve drinks will be reusable and it is estimated that this approach will save up to 250,000 single use cups.
- Suppliers are setting high standards for sustainable food production, from Edinburgh’s Mara Seaweed, which is abundant and entirely sustainable and does not require fertiliser, fresh water or soil to grow, through to Benzies carrots and potatoes who use wind turbines to power their cool storage, biomas to provide heating and actively recycle the water they use.
In line with the international nature of COP26, we will be using Scottish produce to deliver an international inspired menu. There will even be a Scottish fusion to certain international dishes such as the ‘Scotch beef ramen’.
COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: “There will be a tremendous amount of work to be done at COP26, with many hours of negotiations and long days, so the choice of food that we serve our visiting delegations, staff and all our volunteers, is very important.
“It is exciting to see such innovation in the menus that will be on offer and to understand the thought and effort that has gone into making dishes both healthy, sustainable and suitable for different diets and requirements.
“We very much look forward to giving our international visitors a flavour of the wide-ranging cuisine the UK has to offer.”
Kevin Watson, Business Director, SEC Food added: “We have worked hard to create low carbon menus that are accessible to all. We hope our sustainable food strategy will shape menus of the future as we all work to protect our planet.
“As well as providing great tasting and nutritious food, our menus are focused on local and seasonal sourcing, with a plant-forward approach. We have been delighted to showcase and work with so many local Scottish suppliers and our teams are looking forward to supporting the event.”