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Importance of food's carbon footprint in spotlight at free event

9 September 2019

The food sector's importance in reducing the country's contribution to climate change is to be highlighted at a free event at a pub leading the way in the heart of the Lake District.

Sticklebarn, a National Trust property at Great Langdale, is using innovative ways to improve the property's carbon footprint and will host a free workshop, "Sustainable & low carbon food: what does the future hold?", on Monday September 23.

Attendees will hear that reducing a business’s carbon footprint also offers opportunities for cost savings.

The event has been organised by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) funded by us and the Eco-Innovation Cumbria (EIC) Project at the University of Cumbria, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The keynote speaker will be Mike Berners-Lee from Small World Consulting, followed by a question and answer session.

Working with Small World Consulting, Sticklebarn has developed innovative ways to improve their carbon footprint and sustainability, including calculating the carbon footprint of dishes on their menu, improving waste handling and looking at sourcing of ingredients.

Other speakers at the event will include Dr Rhona Pringle, low-carbon communities project manager at CAfS, on why reducing the carbon footprint of food is important and Gareth Fuke, regional food and beverages manager with the National Trust, on the impact on Sticklebarn of introducing the carbon footprint menu, while Steph Barton from Chesters at Skelwith Bridge will talk about how they moved to a vegetarian menu.

There will also be information on how to reduce the carbon footprint of a food manufacturing/processing business.

This free workshop is open to eligible businesses from across Cumbria and is ideal for food producers and suppliers, hotels, B&Bs and restaurants and cafes.

Through the workshop, attendees will understand the environmental impact of their business’s food-related activities, learn how to reduce their business’s carbon footprint, learn how to reduce food wastage and understand wider industry issues and how to tackle them.

The recent Committee on Climate Change report "Net Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming (2019)" shows how important the UK food sector is in reducing the country’s contributions to climate change. This includes efficient, sustainable energy use, food that is less carbon intensive to produce, food waste and providing consumers with product information and feedback on purchasing habits.

Dr Pringle said: "The food sector in the UK can make a significant contribution to tackling climate change. Cumbria Action for Sustainability is delighted to be working with South Lakeland District Council and the University of Cumbria's Eco-Innovations team to deliver this fantastic event for food businesses to look at steps they can take to reduce the climate change impacts of their businesses."

Councillor Dyan Jones, our Portfolio Holder for Climate Emergency and Localism, said: “South Lakeland District Council supports CAfS’ vital work helping communities, individuals and businesses in the district become more energy efficient by reducing carbon emissions and this event is sure to provide invaluable support and information for businesses in the food sector looking to reduce the environmental impact of how they operate.”

“Growing a green economy in South Lakeland is one of SLDC’s priorities. It can be done if everybody works together, and the steps outlined at this event will show it doesn’t have to be at the expense of the bottom line.”

The event takes place on Monday September 23 and booking will close on September 16.

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