Serving sustainable food

There are increasing reasons why serving sustainable food makes good sense for your business and the environment. Customers are becoming more aware of the importance of good food and want to know more about the food they are eating. In addition to asking about nutritional content and calories, which will have an impact on their health and wellbeing, they want to know about the provenance of the ingredients used.

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Source local ingredients

According to Professor Jules Pretty of the University of Essex, eating is the most political act we do daily. In a BBC report he claims that the action of eating affects landscapes, farms and food businesses. Customers may ask where the meat they are eating comes from, with as many as 80% willing to pay more for products that meet higher animal welfare standards. Most would choose free range eggs if given a choice.

If you can assure your customers that as much of your food as possible is local and give them all the information they need, it is likely that they will be happy to pay a higher price.

Sustainable supplies

According to the Guardian, 30% of UK greenhouse gas emissions are caused by food, and customers are very aware of the impact their choices have on the environment.

Develop a food policy to take into account sustainability and identify where you can make improvements, such as checking the provenance of the fish you supply and refusing fish and seafood from overfished stocks. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) identifies sustainable fish and you can find items such as MSC-labelled frozen scallops all over the world. Fish from sustainable fisheries can be frozen for storage, so check out what is available from  commercial refrigeration suppliers.

Freezing local ingredients bought from a local farm immediately after harvest can keep them fresher than the products available in your local supermarket, so invest in enough suitable commercial refrigeration equipment for your business.

Fairtrade-certified goods

Of course not everything can be sourced locally; however, products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar and bananas can be obtained from Fairtrade sources.

Finally, you need to make your customers aware of the steps you are taking to protect them and the world we live in, where your ingredients come from, and why it is important to serve sustainable food.