Waterford Festival of Food Sustainability

Sustainability is in the Recipe for the 2024 Waterford Festival of Food!

Fabulous local produce, No Single Use Cups sustainable farm visits, Zero waste dinner event, thought-provoking talks, guided forages and much more on the jam packed festival programme from 19th- 21st April 2024.

It’s the final countdown to the highly anticipated Waterford Festival of Food, one of Ireland’s largest and longest running community festivals, which takes place from the 19th to 21st  of April 2024.


Sustainability is a strong theme at Waterford Festival of Food, being one of the main foundations of the festival’s individual events as well as the festival ethos as a whole. With under two weeks to go, take a look at some of the measures and events they have planned:

  • Reduce, Reuse: The festival has a no single-use plastic policy at their market stalls in place for a number of years now and ultimately aims to be a plastic-free festival.

  • 2 GoCup:  2024 marks the first year Waterford Festival of Food has banned the use of single-use coffee cups. All festival attendees purchasing takeaway beverages will be asked to either bring their own reusable cups or can pay a deposit for the use of a 2GoCup.  The cup can then be handed back and their deposit returned.  This is in conjunction with 2GoCup and Waterford City and County Council.

  • Unlock the Secrets of Sustainability Lunch in the Glasshouse at Mount Congreve Gardens: Renowned CLIFF Executive Chef Sean Smith and Climate Conscious Chef Ali Honour will host this unique culinary event, at the world-renowned Mount Congreve Gardens. Ali is known for her expertise in creative and sustainable practices, and has collaborated with organisations across Ireland and the UK to improve the food system and combat food waste. The ticket price includes general admission to the stunning Mount Congreve Gardens.[April 20, 12:45 pm, €45]

  • Conor Spacey’s Root to Tip Dinner: Conor, as well as being an accomplished chef, author of ‘Wasted’ a collection of root-to-tip recipes, is more importantly a change maker. Conor is Ireland’s leading advocate on food waste and co-creator of Chefs manifesto, a global network of chefs committed to finding better solutions to the global food system. Conor is a vegetarian and cooks vegetarian food, but he does much more than that, he closes the loop where he thinks about every ingredient, every part of every vegetable.  His ‘vegetable butchery’ means breaking down ingredients into all their delicious parts and incorporating each part into fantastic dishes. For this dinner Conor will use all local seasonal ingredients from Waterford to really showcase how every part of every vegetable can be used.  [April 20, 7:30 pm, €65]

  • Mountain Splendour Taste Tour: Take the Mountain Splendour Taste Tour in the stunning Comeragh Mountains with local tour guide Johnny Landers. Johnny offers a fascinating insight into passionate producers and food stories passed down through the generations. On this special tour you will experience shepherding with Willie Drohan of Comeragh Mountain Lamb and visit a sustainable farm with Clotilde Kiely at her home Comeragh Mountain Farm. Enjoy lunch at Cooney’s Yard in a converted farm building after a forest forage at Crough Wood. [April 19 Coach leaves Shandon carpark at 10.00am and returns at 4.00pm, €95]

Commenting on the festivals efforts to be as sustainable as it can Festival Director Eunice Power said “The Waterford Festival of Food is fundamentally a showcase of local and regional food and culinary talent, so that dovetails into reduced food miles, field to fork eating and a supply chain that aims to link the producer and consumer more directly. We also aim to educate people on where their food comes from and what goes into the process of putting something on your plate.”

There’s something for everyone with an eclectic programme that includes a Gala Dinner at Lismore Castle, food trails, an extensive family fun programme, workshops, pop-up experiences in unusual locations, cooking demos, top chefs, wellness events, plus one of Ireland’s largest outdoor markets. However, with many ticketed events close to selling out, it’s best to book now to avoid disappointment!

Part of the charm of the Waterford Festival of Food is how bespoke the festival experience can be. Whether you wander the stalls, dip into a food trail, or pop to an event or learn about more sustainable practices and food waste reduction there is plenty to whet your appetite.

The Waterford Festival of Food is funded by Waterford Council, Waterford Leader Partnership, Fáilte Ireland, and Waterford LEO and would not be possible without the support of sponsors, friends circle and the community.

Pre-booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment. For the full programme, more information, and tickets, see https://www.waterfordfestivaloffood.com/