Fooditude have been proud members of The Sustainable Restaurant Association for the past five years. This year we achieved 3 stars – and we look back at what got us started on the sustainability journey and where we are today.
As a business, we have always wanted to be a force for good. We became members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association in 2014. At first, it was a way of seeking expert support and advice on sustainable practices in hospitality VS getting a generic environmental management system in form of an ISO 14000 certification. We also saw it as a way of getting formal validation of some of our work in the areas of responsible sourcing and supporting local communities. We noticed that none of our direct competitors were members and thought being a sustainable caterer gave us a competitive advantage.
Over the past couple of years, we have really invested a lot of time and effort into improving our sustainable credentials and as a result, deepened our relationship with the SRA. Now, the SRA framework around Sourcing, Society and Environment has formed the basis of our own Sustainability Policy which guides all aspects of our business. Engagement with the SRA community has introduced us to some really interesting partners and suppliers. The community events have given our wider team an insight into the issues facing our industry and a platform for having our voice heard. Having a diverse group of attendees at these events has meant, sustainability is the core focus across all departments, not just one team.
In 2018, we sponsored the ‘Celebrate Local and Seasonal’ category in the Food Made Good Awards and supplied themed canapes on the Awards night. We chose this category not because we thought we performed the best on it, but because we wanted to learn from other businesses on how we could be better. The experience really helped us look at our own supply chain creatively and eventually led to the introduction of a whole selection of sustainable and locally sourced dishes on our events selector. We have gone on to establish connections with wonderful suppliers like Hodmedods – who supply us with Essex grown quinoa or more recently Waste knot who help us source surplus vegetables from farms directly.
This year we have become members of Heart of the City, an organisation that helps businesses develop their responsible business strategy; We have focussed efforts on reducing food waste with partners such as Foodcycle, Waste Knot, OLIO and ORCA about whom we have written in much detail here. We have also streamlined suppliers and tweaked our supply chain to include a larger proportion of British produce. All this has helped us achieve 3 stars in our annual Food Made Good rating in 2019.
Last month, we have also achieved The Planet Mark certification – with a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint by at least 2.5% (although we’re aiming for 3%) over the next 12 months.
We view our membership of the SRA as a catalyst for change and hope they will continue to inspire, educate and engage with many more businesses like us in the years to come.
Would you like to follow our sustainability journey? Follow us on @WeAreFooditude