Local Food Economy

Buying Better at Redfest festival

By Aisha Stewart

Aisha Stewart

Entirely volunteer-run, Redfest festival is passionate about showcasing some of the best local artists and food vendors. Aisha Stewart, one of two Sustainability Coordinators for Redfest, explains how the festival is supporting Bristol’s Going for Gold bid.

Taking place this Saturday (August 3rd), Redfest Bristol CIC is a free community music and arts festival based in the Redfield and St George area of East Bristol, aimed at providing a free, accessible, high quality performing and visual arts event for the community. Our vision is to enrich the local community through the arts by providing events that are environmentally sustainable, respect the culture and people we work for and with, and offer real economic benefit to the community in which we operate.

We are happy to feel part of Bristol’s progressive environmental sustainability movement, which includes working to become a ‘Gold’ Sustainable Food City. And we want to ensure that Redfest reflects the Going for Gold bid’s key actions in how we chose to operate.

Improving our waste management is a key objective of the Redfest Sustainability Team. Two of our biggest sustainability-related commitments have been banning the sale of plastic single-use water bottles and making compostable foodware a requirement for our food vendors, which our contractor is able to process with their organics. This has helped to reduce the amount of waste created on-site from the event. 

Additionally, we aim to have vendors that are local (reducing travel-related carbon emissions) and who use sustainably sourced ingredients in their dishes. All the food traders are local to Redfest and Bristol-based – with some even living a stone’s throw away from the park!

Last year was the first time we put food at the forefront of Redfest, by offering pitches to local, quality food traders who represent the high-standard of the Bristol food scene. We only have one trader that serves each type of cuisine to offer a range of choice to the customer, but also to ensure a fair opportunity to the traders.

Many of the vendors are making conscious efforts to use locally sourced ingredients, which supports Bristol’s Going For Gold action of Buying Better. Some are even using ingredients that they grew themselves! By supporting local food vendors, we aim to encourage others to buy locally and take more consideration as to where their food comes from. 

We now have 22 traders at Redfest 2019 and are proud that they all support our sustainability efforts by using compostable serviceware, and making conscious efforts to source their ingredients responsibly. We’re happy to be contributing towards Bristol’s goal of achieving Gold!

Please pop by this Saturday. You can head over to our website to find out more information about the event. There’s also still time to sign up to volunteer. This event would not be possible without the support of Bristol businesses and charities – please consider donating on the Localgiving page to help support the growth of the festival.

Aisha Stewart is one of two Sustainability Coordinators for Redfest, Bristol. Redfest Bristol was founded in 2008 by a small group of volunteers looking to provide a showcase for local artistic talent while bringing an increased sense of community to the area. 

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So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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