For the second year running, The Fritter Shack struck gold at Hay Festival. Their vegan and gluten-free fritters, salads and desserts proved popular with visitors to the Food Hall, not only for the quality of food, and customer service, but also for their green credentials.

The Fritter Shack source all ingredients sustainably, from local producers where possible, and elsewhere from Fairtrade suppliers. All their cooking oil is either converted into bio-diesel for their vehicles or recycled by the company Pure Fry. Their packaging is biodegradable and they refuse to sell plastic bottles. Veganism is the food choice of the moment, and this worthy winner of the Gold Award have been ahead of the curve. Their food is so more-ish that even carnivores have been converted.

This year at Hay there are more vegan, vegetarian, dairy and gluten-free options than ever. The silver award inn the Food Sustainability Awards went to Yellow Turban Thali. Three years ago they switched from cooking meat to vegetarian dishes, and one of their priorities is to recycle food waste into compost.

A joint bronze award winner was La Bonne Crêpe. Though they use French flour, they don;t travel to buy it. They receive it in bulk from the owner when he comes to UK; it is organic and locally milled in his own village. The Good Slice, serving 12-inch wood-fired pizzas, also won bronze. For every pizza they sell, they provide a meal for someone in need. This festival, they have been able to fund 3,000 meals for homeless people in London. They also currently work with a charity in Malawi.

Soulfood Kirchen and The Beefy Boys were highly commended.

Next year, we expect standards to be even higher, with every outlet aiming to buy local, think global.

Pictured: Ceri Elms, left, and Andy Fryers, right, of Hay Festival present the top Sustainability Food Award to The Fritter Shack.

Picture by Sam Hardwick.