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About Nelson Foodies:

Nelson Foodies provides local community event producers with a 'one-stop-shop' for coordinating food and drinks vendors at gigs

reduce reuse recycle rethink

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Working in consultation with all other departments and adopting performing arts industry traditions - including rehearsals and precise schedules - actively encourages all concerned to regard 'front of house' catering as an integral part of a gig, with the food stalls set up and run in a 'professional' manner that works:

minimising the risks of event-specific hazards, such as power overloading, site traffic congestion, etc
serving food and drinks in reusable and/or compostable packaging is not only more environmentally sustainable, it often eliminates the expense of waste disposal - rubbish and/or recycling bins can be superfluous at events where the vendors don't sell rubbish and the audience is encouraged to 'Pack It In & Pack It Out'
in keeping with the artistic 'look & feel' of an event, with food stalls arranged and operated with care and attention paid to the 'finer details'

Thanks to the ever-increasing diversity of cultures in our region, the Nelson Foodies database of stallholders has dozens of local vendors serving an amazingly wide variety of food and drink from almost every continent, catering for an equally diverse range of tastes, diets, and budgets

Working Towards Zero Waste: a 'rule of thumb':

Everything that is served across the counter to customers at a Nelson Foodies gig
must be edible by people or worms

Prohibited Packaging

None of the following can be served across the counter to your customers

  • aluminium - cans, foil wrap, etc
  • glass bottles
  • plastic - plates, cutlery, cups, lids, bottles, cling-film, etc
  • polystyrene - cups, clamshell containers, etc
  • waxy cardboard - fruit juice/milkshake containers, etc


  • what you use to prepare your fare, behind the counter
  • serving customers who bring their own containers
  • serving customers with your own re-usable plates, cutlery, coffee mugs, etc

Serving Drinks

Please Note:

Nelson City Council has banned ALL sugary drinks from council events

See #ncc-bans-sugary-drinks for details


Providing a range of drinks at an event is just as important as offering a variety of food - especially on hot days at venues without drinking fountains

It's perfectly OK to sell drinks that come in PLA bottles (local wholesalers stock at least one brand)

And, as long as you adhere to the Food Hygiene Regulations, you're more than welcome to dispense drinks into compostable cups from large containers

Large Containers:
The minimum volume of a 'large container' is 2.25 litres

So, you can sell Coke, L&P, etc by the cup

In keeping with the words 'working towards' in our slogan, the plan is to increase the minimum to three litres

If your wholesalers don't currently supply drinks in 3 litre bottles, now is the time to demand that they do!

No Sneaky Workarounds

Many people think that the 'working towards zero waste' idea is pretty much self-explanatory (at least to anyone capable of tying their own shoelaces)

Alas, it seems otherwise...

So I'll spell it out:

Pouring drinks out of aluminium cans into compostable cups is NOT ok

Safe Food Handling - Hygiene

In the interest of public health, it is important that all food vendors have (at least) a Safe Food Handlers Award

Download the Safe Food Handler Award Easy Learn Notes from the Nelson City Council website

You will receive an application form and question sheet with 50 questions pertaining to safe food handling. You will need to answer 45 of these in order to obtain your certificate, which costs only $10.00 - a small price to pay to show your customers that the safe handling and production of food is a major concern of your operation

Whilst a Safe Food Handlers Award is OK for charity organisations, commercial vendors are expected to have a full certificate of registration conspicuously displayed to the public

Foodies Rehearsals

There are three secrets to running the perfect event

Alas, being secrets, we don't know what they are

So... we plan

Experience has taught at least one thing: things go more smoothly when everyone is well informed

So... for (almost) all events, vendors will be invited to attend a brief (1 hour?) on-site rehearsal, to discuss:

No two gigs are ever the same. Even on gigs that have been held annually for years and years, it's highly probable that there will be at least a few surprises
As stalls are often positioned in confined and/or on sloping sites, it helps to know how much time/help each vendor will need AND can offer to get ALL stalls into position and ALL support vehicles unloaded and removed from the site, asap
At gigs staged in the evening and/or at night, vendors will be need their own (or hired) working lights with energy-efficient bulbs, of course!
To minimise the risk of congestion, each Foodie will (at the rehearsal) choose a specific 'arrival time' - based on how much time they want/need to set up
With power typically required by most stalls, a decision needs to be made where to position a generator and/or the distro boxes
Accordingly, it's essential to know in advance (quite precisely) how much power and space everyone needs/wants
As it's not unusual for personnel to change from gig to gig, it's essential to know:
  • the name and mobile number of the stall operators and/or the drivers of 'support/towing' vehicles
  • their skills at reversing a trailer (if applicable)
  • if the towing vehicle is a 4WD (can be important for gigs on grass)

Please Note

You will NOT need to take your carts/gazebos/etc to the rehearsals

It's only brains that we need

Terms and Conditions

last updated: 11 June 2013

In agreeing to participate in an event, all vendors must

  • comply with the conditions, in keeping with 'common-sense' and the NZ legistipation regarding power (testing and tagging of leads and appliances, RCDs, electrical WOFs, etc)
  • have, as a bare minimum, a Safe Food Handlers certificate
  • familiarise themselves with the various, site-specific hazards to mitigate the risks that inevitably arise when staging events in public streets, parks and gardens
  • accept that event organisers take no liability or responsibility for any loss or damage
  • towards-zero-waste-road-sign-left.gif towards-zero-waste-road-sign-left.gif embrace and actively promote the Working Towards Zero Waste approach to catering at events
  • consent to the event organisers of each gig using their likeness, (video, photograph, etc) for promotional publicity
  • be prepared to work in a courteous, efficient and professional manner, alongside the cast, crew and organisers

    Team Work

    In particular, vendors must work with their fellow stallholders; helping each other to manoeuvre carts into position and unload 'support' vehicles, which typically must be removed from a site as soon as possible

    Please, please, only get involved if you are happy to accept that - no matter how well we plan an event - it will inevitably be:
    • very, very noisy
    • often rather chaotic
    • occasionally subject to last-minute changes (e.g. if the weather turns foul)
  • agree to go ahead, come rain, hail or shine

    This is 'show business'; an event will only be called off if it becomes too dangerous to continue and/or no-one turns up to watch the show

Info required for the Database

  • The name of your business/organisation
  • When and where your Food and Hygiene certificate of registration was issued
    • for charity organisations, when your Safe Food Handler certificate was awarded
  • Your landline phone number(s) (day and evening)
  • Your mobile number
  • Your stall's overall width and length dimensions - with verandah flaps up, gazebo legs spread out, signs on display, chairs and tables set up, etc.
  • The time required from the moment you drive up to a site, then get into position, then set up so you're ready to serve your first customer
  • For those that use power:
    • how many amps your stall draws under maximum load
    • the length and grade of your power cables
    • if you have a portable RCD and/or a surge protector with an inbuilt circuit breaker
    • when your electrical WOF was issued (for carts, vans, buses, etc wired for power)
    • how recently your power cables (extension cords) and appliances were 'tagged and tested'

If/when you're ready to join and/or you have any queries and/or suggestions, please email or phone me

Act Local, Think Global

2014-07-21-no-sugary-drinks-at-nelson-city-council-events-small NCC bans sugary drinks
The Nelson Mail
21 July, 2014

Sugary drinks are off the menu at the Nelson City Council and from all of its events as of this week.


Nelson is the first council in the country to ban sugary drinks and follows the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board in doing so.


Water will replace sugary drinks at all council community events, but the policy will not impact on alcoholic beverages or the Cricket World Cup, which is sponsored by PepsiCo. "My focus is on the young children in our community and giving them a healthy choice," said Reese.


Reese said she had received positive feedback from a number of community-based organisations wanting to get involved - with Riverside Pool replacing all sugary drinks with healthier alternatives and Nelmac offering to provide free drinking water at all events. "This is actually so simple. It′s just about choosing what you supply. It′s a choice and what we didn′t want to do was take something away and not replace it," she said. Nelson Marlborough DHB principal dental officer Dr Rob Beaglehole, who inspired the DHB′s move to ban the drinks, backed the council′s decision. "The DHB totally supports what Rachel and the Nelson City Council has done because she′s acting as a great role model to other councils around the country," he said.


The Nelson Marlborough DHB spends $1 million a year to treat children with rotting teeth.


This position by the Nelson council was a turnaround from the previously elected council which was split over the sugary drinks ban last year. The issue made it no further than the debate stage, while the Tasman District Council voted against a ban last year.

Kate Davidson
The Nelson Mail


Public vote to encourage eco-friendly packaging
27 July, 2013

The number of nominations for Wanaka Wastebusters' Unpackit awards has doubled on last year, with 424 lodged.

Eight finalists for the worst packaging have been announced from 287 nominations from members of the public, and eight finalists for the best packaging were chosen from 137 suggestions.

Spokeswoman Sue Coutts said the awards, which received funding from the Environment Ministry's waste minimisation fund, aimed to encourage New Zealanders to choose products with minimal packaging which could be reused, recycled or composted, and was clearly and accurately labelled. They also intended to raise awareness about the packaging waste problem. [...]

Ms Coutts said New Zealanders used about 180 million disposable cups a year and it was likely those which were recycled ended up as a contaminant because they were made from a mix of materials - a paper cup and a plastic lid. [...]

Ms Coutts said companies "really sat up and took notice when they were nominated by their customers for an Unpackit award". [...]

The winners would be decided by public vote. People can vote from today at with voting closing on November 8. [...]

Survey finds 97% of climate science papers agree warming is man-made
16 May, 2013

Overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed papers taking a position on global warming say humans are causing it


Quite possibly the most important thing to communicate about climate change is that there is a 97% consensus amongst the scientific experts and scientific research that humans are causing global warming. Let's spread the word and close the consensus gap.

World's Environment Ministers tuck into dinner of food waste in Kenya
20 February, 2013

Last night hundreds of environment ministers, diplomats and UN delegates from around the world sat down to a five-course dinner prepared with fruit and vegetables rejected by UK and European supermarkets, that would have otherwise have been wasted, at a landmark meeting of the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya.

Styrofoam Ban Being Eyed by New York City Sanitation Department
6 February, 2013

Takeout food and to-go coffee will no longer be served in Styrofoam containers if the city Sanitation Department has anything to say about it.

The department is planning to suggest the city ban all food-service providers from using containers made from the material, an official said Monday night.

"I′m proposing legislation to ban Styrofoam in New York City," deputy commissioner for recycling and sustainability Ron Gonen said.

Details of the suggested legislation are being hammered out now, Gonen said, but it will focus on businesses that buy huge amounts of the hazardous material, not on individual consumers.

"The onus would not be on the consumer," he said. "This would not be something that the consumer would have to deal with."

This page was last updated: July 22 2014
Te ra ake tenei wharangi, i tera ikei runga te 22 o Hōngongoi te tau 2014 te ra

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