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The Caterer

Reader Soapbox

03 June 2004
Reader Soapbox

Jonathan Coombs (Caterer 27 May) is wrong to assume that the inclusion of national companies on the Les Routiers' Suppliers Guide works to the detriment of local suppliers or in any way undermines our commitment to good cooking, real food and local produce.

While our purchasing service does offer frozen food, this is not something we actively promote. Faced with the demands of a wide-ranging clientele, many owner-managers of small establishments understandably feel that it is not sensible to exclude such produce altogether. There are other products - dried goods, for example - that are essential in all kitchens and cannot economically be sourced locally.

It is the same story with beer. In the interest of maximum choice, most pubs now offer customers a range of local real ales as well as lagers and ales from the larger breweries. There is an increasing demand for lager, which may not be available from small local breweries.

At Les Routiers, part of the service we offer our members is using the power of membership to improve efficiency in many aspects of their business. Offering cheaper insurance, a price-check facility, and the chance to buy cheaper dried foods has no impact on our culture and "real food" values. If Mr Coombs has no use for the services we offer, we wish him well.

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