17 | Aug | 20

Richard Johnson

Sustain THIS!

2020 has been a rough year for hospitality. But, slowly, the world looks ready to break bread together again. Informally, in the open air or big high-ceilinged warehouses rather than at cramped tables in restaurants. Street food is the food people want to eat right now – served up in the way people want to eat it.

Any thoughts of sustainability over the summer have probably been about sustaining yourself, your family and your livelihood. But, as we get back to work, we’ve all got a chance to make small decisions with big impact. Have you returned to service without those plastic straws? Relaunched with a new sustainable supplier, or with your most veg-led menu yet? Maybe you used lock-down to build an on-the-road-food-composter?

We have just officially launched the 2020 British Street Food Awards supported by Hellmann’s here (deadline for applications August 19) and we want to remind traders that our prestigious Award for the Most Sustainable street food trader (sponsored by Hellmann’s) will be up for grabs. Follow this link and (by August 19) tell us WHY we should put you on the shortlist. What have you done that sets you apart?

We’re working with the Sustainable Restaurant Association, who will be running the application process and compiling our shortlist. Then together we’ll decide on our winner at the finals of the British Street Food Awards supported by Hellmann’s at Hawker House in London on the weekend of October 16/17.

Tom Tanner from the SRA notes some recurrent sustainability challenges for street food traders post-Covid. “Keeping a lid on single use plastic whilst ensuring diner safety has been a tough line to navigate” he says, “alongside ensuring minimal food waste despite fluctuating footfall, whilst not relying on go-to British Summer classics such as burgers, which carry a high carbon footprint. We know bottom lines are tight – but it’s also not the moment for traders to rely on cheap, poorly produced ingredients, which leaves the more sustainable suppliers out of the industry’s recovery”.

Hellmann’s and British Street Food are also working together in 2020 to reduce food waste, and are joining our heat organisers, along with NCASS and Eighth Plate, in ensuring that it happens. Our aim is to ensure any leftover food gets repurposed to local food charities, making it a truly zero food waste event. Please get involved.