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Guest blogger: Craig Martin, Chair of Experience Glasgow Food & Drink and Head of HR Operations at C&C Group

November 12, 2021

Craig Martin

The eyes of the world have been on Glasgow over the past couple of weeks as we have hosted the highest profile event the UK has ever seen. The significance of COP26, the gathering of the world leaders, demonstrates the importance of climate change and what we all do can make a difference.

It has been important for the city to shine, to embrace the opportunity and take advantage of this spotlight.

Supporting Plate up for Glasgow was a no brainer for us at Experience Glasgow Food & Drink.  We were newly formed, with the aim of bringing local producers, suppliers and buyers together – to foster collaborations, promote the sector and support more sustainable practices so that we can make a difference.  The ethos of Plate up for Glasgow does just that – one dish at a time.  It’s a campaign that has brought our sector together at a crucial time, at the end of the most challenging 20 months, but our businesses have excelled themselves, they have shown resilience, determination, innovation and most important of all, the passion for what they do.

Many of our food and drink businesses have sustainability and sourcing locally at the heart of what they do. The campaign has simply highlighted this great work and the difference they are already making to reduce food waste and their carbon footprint.

Keeping the brilliant work of the campaign alive into 2022 and beyond is so important. That’s why the Scottish Government, supported by Scottish Enterprise, VisitScotland and Zero Waste Scotland, is funding a new Net Zero project which will involve supporting hospitality businesses in creating a tailored food waste reduction plan and its implementation. This is about tackling this issue by monitoring and measuring food waste, delivering action plans, changing behaviours and providing the equipment to help make that happen. That would be a great legacy for the City and for this to be rolled out nationally would be the icing on the “hospitality hero” cake. Watch this space for more information on how to get involved.

We want to say a huge thanks to the participating venues who have developed their “Food Hero” dishes and drinks and supported the campaign at what has been a very challenging time for the hospitality industry.  Thank you to the diners for enjoying and experiencing the wide range of stunning low waste offers and spreading the word and for everyone who has made a commitment to continue their food waste journey post the campaign.

We are immensely proud of being part of making Plate up for Glasgow happen and hope that this is only the beginning of the net zero journey for everyone.  I hope that the campaign, COP26 and the changes our sector are already making, has made everyone think differently, giving consideration to the impact we make on the environment, whilst making positive changes to the way we live our lives.

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