Buying and selling local produce has been on trend for a while. It is beneficial for the local economy, it is good for the environment, and it is fantastic for your business too. Cafes and restaurants that implement the ‘farm to table ethos in their business will be rewarded with fresh, seasonal ingredients and the ability to create exciting menus filled with diverse dining options. Here is a guide to local produce and the reasons why your restaurant should source it.
What is Local Produce?
The term local produce is subjective, and it is often used ambiguously by cafes and restaurants. However, it covers all food and agricultural products that have been grown and sourced within a certain area. Although the meaning of this loose term varies from person to person, many locavores would claim that products grown within 100 miles of home are deemed local.
Local Produce is Usually Organic
One great thing about local produce is that it is almost always organic. When produce is grown close to consumers, suppliers often want to make sure the product is of a quality that customers expect. The produce is usually grown without the help of pesticides, herbicides, or artificial fertilizers. Animal welfare is usually taken into account too. However, becoming certified organic is not always a possibility for small, independent farms. If in doubt, it is always a good idea to ask the farmer about their business practices. You may also get to sample the produce if you pop by in person.
Fresh, Seasonal Food
Locally sourced food has less time to travel, which means that it is picked when fresh. Using in-season ingredients, you can create a seasonal menu that will keep your customers coming back for more. On the other hand, products supplied by non-local distributors have a long journey to take before it reaches your restaurant. This means that the product has probably been produced, picked, and preserved in a way that will help it last the journey. Unfortunately, the end product you receive is not always in season, and it certainly isn’t fresh compared to local produce. However, by working with a top-quality supplier, you can rest assured that all of your local needs are met. Oil and More are a professional food service distributor that serves the Western Cape community. They provide clients within the hospitality industry with quality foods and food-related products.
Reduce CO2 Emissions
Sourcing local produce will make your eatery greener and lower your carbon footprint. This is because your ingredients have less land to travel to reach you, and by reducing the miles, CO2 emissions are reduced too. In turn, your customers will also be contributing to the effort by simply sitting down and having a meal at your restaurant. In addition, sourcing locally can help keep local farmers in business.
Support the Local Economy
Sourcing produce from local farms means that your hard-earned money is going back to your local community. It also enables you to build bridges with local farmers. Fostering a good working relationship can help create efficient business opportunities in the years to come.