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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 foods) 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.
- ‘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.
- 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!
- 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 footprints, 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.