We believe that what we believe in, we must also live. Therefore we as a festival have decided to act on a number of principles:
Fair trade – Organic – Vegan
For more than 10 years, Freakstock and all other events of the Jesus Freaks have been serving only fair trade coffee. Overall, we consume about 130 kg of coffee per year. With this amount, we find it all the more important to pay attention to acceptable production, working conditions and fair wages in the countries of origin. For smaller events like Willo, where we also sell sweets, only fair traded chocolates, jelly beans etc. are sold (same goes for Freakstock!).
Wherever possible, we use organic products. Because of the required food quantities we mostly shop at wholesale markets, where not everything is available in organic quality. But we are grateful for our kitchen team, which shows great commitment to continuedly look for organic products and preferredly purchases these.
If possible, we also try to offer organic beverages – like the Jesus-beer, which was brewed for us with organic grain from the area in a small family business and bottled in a small filling line for 6 bottles.
For quite some time we`ve been offering cooked meals for Freakstock staff volunteers in choices of vegetarian and non-vegetarian. In recent years, the number of those who pursue a vegan diet has increased significantly, so we also offer a vegan meal option. Even for people with food intolerances we cook separately, so that all have the opportunity to eat together, no matter what kind of food they prefer. In our opinion, eating together is an important action. We do not want to “convert” anyone to a certain diet style, but we like to demonstrate repeatedly that dishes with little or no meat can taste great.
Regional companies instead of corporations
Especially for fresh products such as bread, milk and meat we work with local farmers, bakeries and butchers so that we can trace where our food comes from and under what conditions it was produced.
We also prefer to cooperate with companies that are small, regional partners. We want the region to benefit from us and to get to know us. Therefore we try to establish close relationships with local businesses in crafts, retail and service companies in order to allow them to participate in our event and to let the companies in the region benefit financially from Freakstock.
When selecting suppliers, we make sure to avoid the big corporations who often have dubious labor and trade conditions and exploit their market power. Especially in the highly competitive beverage industry, we decided early on alternatives and have been working with smaller partners for years. So if you’re searching for Coca-Cola at Freakstock, you’re searching in vain.
Given the regional approach of Freakstock we not only support the region and the people who live there, we also support – equally important – the environment. Trade and transportation routes are shorter, thus ensuring lower CO2 emissions and a better “ecological footprint” that Freakstock leaves on our earth and our climate. Sustaining creation as one of the Christian mission statements is important to us, both in purchasing materials / services for Freakstock, as well as for our festival site, how we treat it and how we leave it.
Social Justice / economic stuff
In a world that is more than ever dominated by capitalism, in which the 100 richest people own almost 50% of the world`s total money, we want to act on different principles. We believe social justice to be an important basic principle of sustainability.
In recent years, we were able to introduce payment systems which operate on the principle of solidarity. Costs for our Willo event have been covered by a “pay what you can” principle which has worked well so far. For Freakstock we have price models to support people who have less than others (unemployed / social assistance / pensioners). Families are also are taken into account. We want to make it possible for everybody to be part of Freakstock.
It is also possible to be a part of Freakstock as a staff volunteer, and without these hundreds of helping hands this festival would not be what it is. Many contribute their creativity, resulting in festival features that do not exist elsewhere. Anyone can participate and try new things. We want to create a space that enables encounters – with yourself and with others. This brings together people who would otherwise have never met, which can be incredibly empowering experience.
Currently we have a cooperation with Premium Cola, from whom we can learn a bunch of things. This beverage company from Hamburg is surrounded by a network of suppliers, resellers, caterers and us – the consumers – that have a very different mindset than the one we are all used to. Their decisions are based on consensus, and everybody who is involved in production, delivery or sales has an equal vote. We look forward to being a part of this network, which focuses on what is good for everyone rather than on how individuals can get more.
When it comes to sanitation, we want to try something new for the sake of the environment. With the new festival site at the airfield we`re back to portable toilets again. However, we do not want to return to the usual chemical toilets.
The chemicals (biocides sanitary accessories), which are added to the common portable toilet
harm the bacteria in the sewage treatment plant and must therefore be greatly diluted. Vast amounts of water are added so as not to disturb the necessary biological activity in the plant. Moreover, the ‘waste’ is no longer available for re-use and so nutrients are wasted.
To avoid this, we need to move to composting toilets. With these, human excrements are collected and used for composting. The resulting fertilizer can then be used e.g. for flower beds or lawns. We plan on switching all toilets to composting toilets, for the time being we have a mix of traditional and composting ones.
To reach our goal, we have launched a crowdfunding project under the name of “The Dream of Santiago de Compost Ella” , which will help finance the new toilets. The high level of donations shows that boths visitors and organizers are equally interested in sustainable solutions. We hope to convince many people of the benefits of composting toilets, so that we really can be chemical-free in the future.