6 reasons why you should use local suppliers

Photo 03-04-2012 14 08 31  The average Briton will spend more than £43,000 dining out in restaurants over their lifetime. But how much do we really know about the dishes on the menu? Do we know when the vegetables were plucked out of the ground or the source of the meat? Is it even important?

We think so. And so do millions of people from across the UK. According to research conducted by The Department for Rural Affairs, more than two thirds of the population believes buying homegrown, British produce is important.

So, what are the benefits of working with local suppliers and purchasing food from your local area?Photo 27-09-2011 17 40 40

  1. The taste. Let’s take potatoes as an example. Which do you think will have more flavour? supermarket potatoes, which have travelled thousands of miles to reach your plate, and sat on shelves for days, or spuds picked from our walled garden the very same day? Not only do fresh vegetables and fruit taste much better due to lower nitrate levels, but also often contain more nutrients.
  2. By sourcing food locally, you can also create seasonal dishes and menus to celebrate the best the British countryside has to offer! This will allow you to experiment with flavours and discover the variety of veg available from UK soil.
  3. If you run a hospitality or retail business, then sourcing local ingredients can also keep your customers happy! Over the last 10 years, the UK has seen a substantial shift in consumer trends and attitudes towards buying ethically sourced products. Sales in ethical food and drink (including organic, fair-trade and free range IMAG0319foods) rose to £7.7 billion in 2012 (in 2005 this figure was less than £3 billion). The green consumer is here to stay as this trend is predicted to continue long into the future.
  4. ‘Going local’ can also encourage a healthy lifestyle. A menu with fresh, pure and flavoursome ingredients is now highly sought after by many customers who are health conscious and are concerned about providing a healthy diet for their family.
  5. It’s also cost effective. With food prices constantly on the rise in supermarkets, especially for organic and fair-trade produce, you can dramatically cut your costs by sourcing locally instead. Why not even grow them yourself? You never know, you could be a budding gardener and not even know it!
  6. By using suppliers within your local area, your moral conscious will also be able to sleep peacefully at night. Going local means cutting down your eco-footprint and helping the environment to be that bit greener. Local food has lower carbon Photo 27-09-2011 16 20 36footprints, not just because of the energy used to transport food but also because it uses substantially less energy when it comes to being refrigerated, processed and packaged.

Here at Llansantffraed Court, we are extremely proud to be working closely with local Welsh and English farmers, fishmongers, butchers and other suppliers, as well as growing fresh produce ourselves in the grounds of the hotel. To see exactly where our ingredients come from, please click here.

Enter our new competition!

Do you think you’re Monmouthshire’s biggest foodie? If you want to show off your culinary expertise, then you’re in luck as we are on the hunt for the county’s biggest self-confessed gourmand!

We are running a competition to find the county’s biggest foodie, with food-themed prizes on offer for the winner and two runners up.

We’re asking residents of Monmouthshire to share a reason in no more than 150 words highlighting why they should be crowned ‘Monmouthshire’s biggest foodie’.

Our head chef Mike Hendry will judge the answers, so it’s important to ensure yours stands above the rest.

Mike has gained a decade of experise, previously working as Sous Chef at the Michelin starred Crown at Whitebrook. He is passionate about using only the highest quality produce from trusted Welsh suppliers.

The entrant with the best answer will not only be crowned Monmouthshire’s biggest foodie but will win a visit from Mike who will cook a three course dinner for two in the winner’s own home.

Our runners up will also be awarded.The person at second place will win a day’s hire of our Renault Twizy ‘Tipyn’ to explore the countryside along with a luxury hamper for two, while third place wins a delicious afternoon tea in our lounge where local jazz band RedRug play on the first Sunday of every month. The top three answers will also be published within the Abergavenny Chronicle.

Monmouthshire has long reigned as the foodie capital of Wales, and is the home of the Abergavenny Food Festival, otherwise known as the ‘best event in Wales’, and an abundance of impressive restaurants, locally sourced produce and award-winning vineyards.

If you think you know your smoked Brecon venison from your Welsh beef, then this could be the competition for you!

The competition will run until Friday 10th October. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October.

If you are Monmouthshire’s biggest foodie, simply email your answer with your contact details to mbf@llch.co.uk or post your answer to the Abergavenny Chronicle, Nevill Street, Abergavenny, Gwent, NP7 5AA. We wish you the best of luck!