Local restaurants, cafes, bars and takeaways are being encouraged to embed sustainable innovation practices to reduce waste in Glasgow’s food and drink sector ahead of the Cop26 summit.

Launched today, ‘Plate up for Glasgow‘ is a hospitality industry-led campaign scheduled to coincide with the climate change conference in November. 

Piloted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce through its Circular Glasgow initiative and funded by Experience Glasgow Food and Drink Regional Group, the campaign aims to highlight and encourage hospitality businesses to act upon the global issue of food waste and its impact on climate change.

With some of the city’s most loved food and drink venues already signed up – including SWG3 and Drygate – diners can look forward to sampling a whole range of sustainable Food Hero dishes and drinks from 12 October – 12 November.  

The campaign’s ambition is to challenge traditional and wasteful dining and takeaway business models with the goal of sending as little organic waste as possible to landfill.

It is hoped this will help cultivate a ‘circular economy’, which is a holistic solution to the world’s emerging resource problem that has resulted from a linear take-make-waste economy.

In a circular economy, resources are not discarded, but recovered in a system that is continuous and long-lasting, with the goal of keeping them functioning at their highest potential.

According to Circular Glasgow, circularity brings innovation, growth, new markets, trust and profitability. Globally, it is an opportunity valued at $4.5 trillion (£3.2 trillion) by 2030.

As part of Plate up for Glasgow’s mission, businesses will rebuild the local economy while collaborating on how to become more sustainable and profitable.

Some of the city’s best chefs will also share tips and offer advice on how to reduce food waste and highlight the many benefits of buying locally and seasonally.

The Gannet, Paseano Pizza, The Finnieston and The Gate are among those who have already committed to taking part in the initiative, allowing both locals and visitors to the city to taste the very best of Glasgow’s sustainable and edible innovations.

Alison McRae, senior director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “Glasgow is leading the charge in transforming methods and perceptions around sustainability and circularity across all sectors of the economy, and Plate up for Glasgow is just another example of the city’s ability to innovate and collaborate to drive change.

“The food and drink sector is at the heart of our city and one that was hit hard by the pandemic, so we look forward to launching this campaign which aims to connect businesses, buyers and suppliers, all with a shared goal of reducing waste, becoming more sustainable and protecting our planet.

“We want this to be a campaign led by Glasgow businesses for Glasgow businesses, and with the wide range of fantastic venues already signed up, I know the Glasgow community will get behind this initiative in the lead up to Cop26.”

Jonathan MacDonald, chef patron of Ox and Finch, said: “We are so excited to be a part of Plate up for Glasgow. During the pandemic we not only saw the benefit of local businesses supporting one another, but it gave many within hospitality a chance to stop, think and re-evaluate on the systems and processes in place.

“Cop26 presents Glasgow’s hospitality sector with a real opportunity to showcase its culinary innovations to visitors from all over the world – and moving to more modern and sustainable methods within our cooking, service, manufacturing and supply chains is the next logical step as we look to reduce our carbon footprint.” 

Craig Martin, chairman of Experience Glasgow Food & Drink and head of HR operations at C&C Group said: “Glasgow’s food and drink businesses are a window into our local communities and tell the story of the city’s rich heritage and diversity. This campaign will help the recovery of the city and of our sector – we look forward to welcoming businesses to join us in our journey towards a more sustainable future for all.”

Plate up for Glasgow is in partnership with Eusebi Restaurant & Deli, Pitch Perfect Consulting Ltd and is funded by Experience Glasgow Food & Drink Regional Group.

To apply, head to Plate up for Glasgow.