4 Clonakilty and 1 Rosscarbery wedding venues are saying goodbye to wasteful weddings!  

On your wedding day, saving the world might not be top of mind. However, environmental consciousness is now woven into every aspect of our lives. That's why five hotels in West Cork have united to become the epicentre of green weddings in Ireland. As thought leaders, they are setting a precedent for venues across the country, leading the charge in sustainable celebrations.

Working with the environmental charity VOICE, (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment) who are experts on waste reduction, five venues in Cork, have created an original and ambitious Green Wedding Package. This is exactly the kind of climate action that we need from our hospitality section and should be commended!  

Last week, new figures from the EPA revealed that we are wasting "over one million meals a day," resulting in significant resource and economic losses.

A Commitment to Food Waste Reduction and more...

The Green Wedding package is an innovative step forward in the hospitality industry. Passionate professionals across 5 venues; Dunmore House, Fernhill House Hotel, Camus Farm, the Celtic Ross Hotel and Dunowen House, recognise that the industry needs to do better. With 53,000 tonnes of food being wasted annually in the hospitality sector, sustainability is a high priority both for economic (costing about €180 million) and environmental reasons. In the context of climate change, it seems crazy to be wasting an average of 530 grams of food per cover at Irish weddings! With 87% of it being edible, with vegetables, potatoes, meat, and bread being the most discarded items.  

That is why our 5 champions have set a target for themselves, to all reduce this waste by at least 50% by next year, following UN recommendations for the 2030 Agenda.  The good news is, some of our participating venues are already exceeding this reduction, which sets an example for the others and will drive the initiative to go further.

The Green Wedding Package!

The Green Wedding package is all about taking decisive actions to minimize food waste and the wider footprint of weddings, offering a responsible choice for couples planning their special day. It addresses sustainability issues head-on by rethinking all the stages involved in creating magical events. This package includes core features that all venues will be offering:

  • Seasonal and Local Cuisine: Sourced from local producers whenever possible and offer the chef’s choice to ensure seasonality.
  • Vegetarian option as a main alongside meat and/or fish. your summer
  • Thoughtful strategies around portions and serving systems to reduce food waste  
  • Local flowers provided

Yet that is not all that Green Weddings have to offer. If the initiative was first driven by the fight against food waste, each venue is exploring additional ways to go further and treat the issue more holistically.

Each of the 5 venues proposes special features to reinforce their commitment to sustainability. These unique services include green energy sources, pre-ordering, home-grown produce, and green wedding favours. You can find all these in detail on their respective websites (see end of doc).  With the Green Wedding Package, Clonakilty and Rosscarbery venues are taking their responsibilities seriously and proposing truly transformative solutions. They are allowing innovation in the sector but also provide couples with a new way of celebrating their big day with a small footprint!

"This conscious wedding offering is about making good choices, not sacrifices" Michael O’Neill from Fernhill House Hotel.

Thought of waste is on everybody’s mind right through. Good food means little waste” Carol Barrett, Proprietor at Dunmore House.

About the Waste Not Want Not programme.

This initiative emerged as part of the broader Waste Not Want Not Programme led by VOICE, in Clonakilty. This programme is a community-wide effort to tackle food waste across the entire supply chain in a farm to fork approach.

We're delighted that WNWN programme could lead to this great initiative. The Green wedding has identified the challenges but most importantly the opportunities around food waste. Working together with the community around them, these venues are prime examples of what can be done to address food waste systemically, and we hope this initiative can spread and inspire across the country” - Tad Kirakowsky (CEO of VOICE).

Alex Petit, based in West Cork and the group executive head chef of Trigon Hotels, former executive chef of the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery says:

"By taking on these initiatives, the luxurious experience we are trying to provide for our customer is actually augmented - through better attention to detail, sourcing local produce and more creativity in the kitchen" he continues  "We, in the food service industry, need to be introducing the same level of efficiency into our food preparation as we do into energy use and planning staff rotas.  We need to be utilising the full value of all ingredients. "   When asked what motivates him to work on Food waste in the hospitality industry he responded "When you look around you and see that there are people that can't afford food, we can't afford to throw it away"