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We’ve been meat and fish free since 2016 –  to spark the conversation about how our diet shapes the world around us. You can read much more here. 

The estimated impact of taking meat off our menu is a massive 100 tonnes of GHG emissions per year – what a statistic! And in 2022, for the fifth year running, Shambalans overwhelmingly voted to keep the festival meat and fish free moving forward.


The food on our [compostable] plates has far reaching impacts. For many years we have been taking significant steps to understand our food supply chain impacts, and take steps toward regenerative sourcing, as well as providing good quality, variety and value for festival goers – it’s a tricky balance. Our many cafes onsite willingly work with us to adhere to strict food policies and often go further by choice.

All on-site food traders are required to:

  • Offer only plant-based milks for hot drinks – see our Milk Report here
  • Serve only UK or European fruit & veg, and only Fairtrade bananas
  • Use only free range (or organic!) eggs
  • Only use 100% organic dairy ingredients in cooking
  • Only serve Fairtrade (or equivalent) tea, coffee, hot chocolate and drinks
  • Agree to not serve any Coca-Cola or Nestle products on site
  • Only use non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products


We have been experimenting with food labelling since 2018, to create an evidence based and shared awareness around food impacts. Our quest is to move toward ‘one planet plates’ – low impact and ‘fair/equitable’ meals based on 0.5kg CO2e per meal, a global measure set by WWF research.

In 2018/19 over half our traders opted into a trial to use a food carbon calculator and displayed labelling on their menu boards. We also did a detailed analysis of our crew food with the provider. Learning the real impacts of food has motivated many of our partners to design menus differently!

In 2023 our food traders worked with Klimato, to assess and display labelling for their dishes – did you spot the scores on their menus? In future we aim to assess and label 100% of meals,  to enable us to track our overall festival food footprint, and enable festival goers to make choices.


We recognise cafes that achieve the highest standards with our annual ‘Inspirational Trader’ awards. See the 2023 winners here.


You won’t find Coca Cola or any other mass-scale beverage on our site, and no single use plastic packaging either.

We source alcoholic drinks as locally as possible, working with many local and small-scale brewers and distillers. We provide organic options for our main lager and around 30 ales! We work with companies that share our ethics, and our main volume lager comes from a brewer that has won awards for being the most environmentally sustainable beer producer in the UK. Your drink will be served to you in a reusable cup, and behind the scenes, waste has been almost completely designed out of the operation. 


91% of the beer you buy on site is sourced from within 70 miles of the festival (with 3% being from within 15 miles!)

86% of the beer on site (and 89% of the wine) is vegan.

Delve into the nitty gritty of how we’ve been “Raising the Bar” here.