Cannes Film Festival meat ban starts beef over A-listers jetting in to France

Tom Cruise was greeted by a fly-past of jets at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival
Tom Cruise was greeted by a fly-past of jets at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival - VALERY HACHE/AFP

The Cannes Film Festival has banned beef to be more environmentally friendly – as A-list stars fly in from across the globe to southern France.

Stars hoping for a steak on the Riviera will be disappointed, after a policy shift led to a reduction of meat on its menus.

Beef has been totally banned by Cannes bosses to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint, as meals and cocktail party canapes are shifted towards vegetarian options.

The eco-friendly reform comes despite many celebrities flying in and the controversial use of helicopters to transport some stars to the festival’s headquarters for red carpets.

In a list of environmental guidelines for this year’s event, the festival explains: “For the meals and cocktail receptions that it organises, the Festival de Cannes is committed to increasing the number of vegetarian options and to no longer serving beef, which is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The festival has cited research showing that beef production results in 4.5 times more greenhouse gas emissions than white meat, so a ban was agreed as an “effective and acceptable way of reducing the carbon impact of food”.

Parties are frequent at the lavish festival – this year attended by luminaries including Adam Driver, Emma Stone, Francis Ford Coppola and Greta Gerwig – but its catering has undergone a radical shift.

Latest eco-friendly reform

The festival has explained that it is “making sure that our menus and buffets offer more and more vegetarian options” in an effort to move away from the less eco-friendly production of meat.

The latest reform comes after a number of efforts to make the glamorous event more environmentally friendly, including reducing the size of the red carpet, changing it less regularly and making sure goodie bags handed out to celebrities are composed of predominantly local products rather than from overseas.

However, celebrities continue to arrive in private jets, and the bay at Cannes is filled with yachts of the wealthy coming to enjoy the festival.

In 2022, Tom Cruise took flak from green politicians for travelling to his red carpet event in a helicopter.

The film festival had insisted on ferrying celebrities to the red carpet in a fleet of electric cars, but Cruise went maverick and arrived for the premiere of his Top Gun sequel by air, before being greeted by a fly-past of jets emitting a red, white and blue tricolour trail.

David Cormand, an MEP who represents the French environmentalist party Europe Ecology, told The Telegraph at the time: “Such behaviour destroys the credibility of those who speak up for climate and the environment. How can Cannes be convincing about promoting a greener future, if some people can make entrance on a helicopter?

“In the end, the message is that the common people have to pay attention and do with less, but that the wealthiest can do what they want. But if we don’t have a just transition, there will be no Green transition at all.”