Caterers sceptical about ‘local sourcing' claims

10 September 2008 by
Caterers sceptical about ‘local sourcing' claims

Hospitality operators are increasingly sceptical about the "local sourcing" claims of their food suppliers, research revealed today.

A survey of 2,000 hospitality businesses, by purchasing consortium Beacon, shows that three-quarters of respondents believe true local sourcing means within a 20-mile radius.

In contrast, many suppliers refer to regional or even national products as "local".

Chris Durant, director of Beacon, said: "This raises a challenge for suppliers: how to meet a practical demand for local products at competitive prices, and within a framework of what ‘local' means.

"The reality is that businesses are not going to get everything they need from within a 20-mile radius or at a price they want to pay."

The survey also revealed that while virtually all respondents (99%) have introduced one or more energy saving or recycling initiatives, fewer than a third are currently recycling.

A lack of outside storage facilities and/or the lack of local recycling services were cited as their biggest challenges.

Elsewhere on the survey, respondents gave an emphatic (88%) thumbs down to the imposition of a Government ‘traffic light' coding system on menus.

Businesses said the proposal was impractical and warned it would bring accusations of nannying as well as overcomplicating the look of menus.

Food inflation is fuelling more local sourcing >>

Jamie Oliver's farming friend puts British producers in the spotlight >>

Know the source of your ingredients >>
Yo! Sushi gives green signal to traffic light system >>
Operators in menu talks with the FSA >>
Eden Project: A beacon for green catering >>

Green Zone >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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