These days, in hospitality as everywhere, going greener is very much top of the bill. That’s not to say you need to start adding more veg into your menu. Making more sustainable and environmentally conscious choices, though, can make the world of difference…and a difference to the world, too!
Reports suggest that between 20-30% of the global warming that’s caused by humans is as a result of our food and agriculture systems. With more of our customers engaging with these facts, making greener menu choices makes great business sense.
So, what are the options for going green and how should you select your eco suppliers?
The way that the vegetables we use and the meat or fish options we offer are farmed, and how the animals or fish on those farms are looked after, are a consideration. Sustainable also relates to the livelihoods of the people involved in the production of ingredients and buying Fairtrade products is one way of working towards a more sustainable menu.
Transporting food from far afield has a big impact on the environment and trucks are some of the biggest polluters on the planet, so reducing the number of miles your ingredients travel can lower your environmental impact. Buying from suppliers that are closer to home supports the local economy, too.
When your ingredients must come from abroad, if goods aren’t easily perishable, transporting by sea releases much less carbon into the atmosphere than air freight.
Whether you’re sourcing locally or not, if you’re buying ingredients that aren’t in season, their storage is probably also costing the environment. So, where you can, sourcing seasonal foods for your menu is also a great plus point.
Of course, buying seasonal food could often mean your menu needs to change to suit what’s around. This also gives you something to shout about, though, which could give you a real competitive advantage.
Of course, changing suppliers is a big decision and choosing the right supplier for your ingredients is a critical one. The quality, safety and value of the food you’re buying are all paramount. As well as your own business obligations, you need to make sure your suppliers also meet regulatory requirements, quality standards and health and safety.
Making time to understand where your ingredients come from, how they’ve been processed and stored, and what’s in them, is incredibly important to your own menu labelling and to helping to make sure your customers are aware of any allergens.
Ensuring your business is covered if someone has an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients on your menu or if there is a problem with the quality of your supplies, is equally important.
As well as property and contents, business interruption and employers’ liability insurance, public and products liability insurance should be added into the mix.
If you’re looking for insurance options for your hospitality business, or if you’re new to the industry and want to check what cover is available, please contact our Hospitality Division team on 01473 343330.