The Sustainable Restaurant Association](http://www.thesra.org) (SRA) has unveiled its new Supplier Approval Scheme, which helps restaurants identify suppliers that exceed the association's minimum sustainability standards on product methods, supply, and client/staff retention.
Initially, the scheme focuses on food suppliers, but will be extended to other hospitality and catering lines.
Firms that have already been approved - who will be listed in the SRA Supplier Directory - include bottled water company Belu, chocolate maker Original Beans, wine producer Yealands and tea specialist Lalani & Co.
The system, which is similar to the SRA's star scheme for restaurants, was developed with independent producers in mind and involved input from suppliers such as Taywell Ice Cream, Fletching Glasshouses and Rough Old Wife Cider.
"This initiative now extends the ethos of the restaurant members all the way to the sourcing suppliers - true end-to-end sustainability," said Simon Reed of Rough Old Wife Cider.
"This initiative and the supplier directory gives an instant and pre-checked set of criteria ensuring that the restaurant can source from suppliers with a like-minded ethos - the SRA has done all the hard work for them!"
Alastair Jessel, managing director of Taywell Ice Cream, highlighted the value of the scheme to producers: "As a small primary producer it can be really hard communicating what we do and the quality we offer to restaurants. The SRA Supplier Approval is a simple, reliable means of doing just that."
By Angela Frewin
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