Advice and tools
We’ve created the 'Advice and tools' pages to help chefs, restaurateurs, caterers and community food enterprises find practical ways in which sustainable ingredients - such as local and seasonal fruit and vegetables, high welfare meat, sustainable fish, organic and Fairtrade produce - can be incorporated into menus.
Each 'issue' page contains an explanation of what the problem is, some suggestions of what your business can do to help, and a list of useful resources. And finally, chefs have kindly shared delicious recipe ideas - for example, for dishes which reduce bread waste by using leftover bread, or incorporate nose-to-tail cuts.
Sustainable food can be approached in small steps or as a big project. If you'd like to go into more detail we’d also suggest looking at our Good Food Guide for chefs, caterers and culinary students, which is downloadable as a PDF.
- Local and seasonal food - The food we eat is being transported further than ever, and there is increasing demand for a wide range of ready-prepared and exotic out-of-season produce.
- Environmentally-friendly farming - Farming contributes under one per cent to the UK’s total economic activity each year, but takes up 74 per cent of land, and has an immense impact on our environment.
- Animal welfare - Much of the meat on sale in the UK is produced intensively, with little or no regard for animal welfare.
- Fish - Our appetite for fish has increased so rapidly over the past fifty years, matched by the increasing industrialisation of the fishing industry, that we are seriously at risk of losing some species from our seas for ever.
- Fairtrade - Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
- Water - Water demand has increased dramatically over the past quarter of a century, and we now use half as much water again as we did in 1980.
- Health and wellbeing - Sustainability is not just about being ‘green’. The social and economic aspects of sustainable development are just as important as the environmental issues.
- Waste - However much energy has been used to make food and its packaging, all of it is wasted when it is thrown away. For example, in the UK we throw away an estimated 6.7 million tonnes of food every year.
- Energy saving - The catering and retail sectors are a major user of energy. Most of this energy will be from non-renewable fossil fuels, and therefore a significant source of greenhouse gases.
- Customer communication - As a restaurant your choices matter! By talking about the changes you are making with both your suppliers and your customers, you can help to encourage growth in both the demand for and the supply of sustainable food.
- Recipes - With our thanks to the chefs, restaurants and pubs that have kindly shared these recipes with us.