Bite Catering has become the first member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) from the contract catering sector.
The niche operator, which runs 12 B&I sites in London and the Home Counties, will commit to a number of initiatives from the SRA shortlist in three areas: sourcing, environment and society (full details below).
The SRA was launched at Hotelympia in March last year in a bid to help the UK hospitality industry become global leaders in sustainable eating. So far, it has 600 members across the UK including restaurants, pubs and colleges.
Mark Linehan, managing director of SRA, said that providing expert advice and support to contract caterers is the next natural step.
"Restaurants of all types are experiencing the benefits of greater sustainability, through lower waste and energy bills, greater involvement with their local communities, better relationships with local suppliers, and crucially closer ties to their customers, explained Linehan.
"It is a natural progression for us to pass on this experience to contract caterers and we are delighted to be working with Bite."
Nick Parker, managing director of Bite, said that while the company focuses on providing high quality food, sustainability is also a priority.
He said: "We're passionately in sustainability and the key role that the provision of seasonal, reasonably sourced workplace food and drink has to play in a consumer's 24-hour eating cycle.
"Working in partnership with the SRA will enable us to ensure we are doing everything we can to help our clients achieve their wide ranging CSR objectives."
Bite will set up a sustainability development team made up of front-line employees from its client sites and led by operations director Simon MacFarlane, who joined Bite from Restaurant Associates last year.
The team's first remit will be to confirm which key actions the company will aim to achieve over the next 12 months. The sustainability pledges will likely come from the following shortlist:
- Ensure 100% of whole eggs used in each contract are free range
- Serve only fish rated 1 and 2 by the Marine Conservation Society
- All office paper used in, or issued by, the Bite support centre is to be recycled, recyclable, or from FSC accredited sources
- Use of cleaning products with EU Ecolabel or equivalent high eco-friendly standard
- To communicate Bite Catering's sustainability principles and actions in its monthly companywide newsletters, client newsletters, and via its company website
- To share its food skills and knowledge with local schools or community groups, on a quarterly basis.
By Janie Stamford
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