Some cynics responded to the prime minister’s recent announcement that the UK would become the first of the G7 nations to commit to net zero carbon emissions, saying that without other nations following suit it would be a futile exercise. What is undisputed, is that climate change and the challenges facing our food system are global. Chefs and restaurants around the world have a huge role to play and bringing them together to work collectively for the same goal will undoubtedly increase the impact of their positive actions.
Nine years ago, restaurateurs Henry Dimbleby and Mark Sainsbury teamed up with sustainability specialists Giles Gibbons and Simon Heppner to help them fulfil this role. Recognising that many in the industry wanted to act but needed a framework and support system to do so, they established the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
Almost a decade on and with the environmental imperative becoming ever more urgent, the time feels right to take the Food Made Good programme global.
That’s why Simon Heppner and its CEO Andrew Stephen were in Singapore this week to launch Food Made Good Global. In effect they’re announcing that the world’s most established and successful membership programme for delivering positive change across the foodservice sector is going global and making its technology, tools and knowhow available to any country, city or state that wants to replicate the model.
At a gathering of like-minded industry professionals from across the world at Native in Singapore, one of Asia’s most sustainable bars, Simon said: : “There is growing awareness that the decisions we make about the food we eat have an enormous impact; on ourselves, on society and on the planet. Nobody wants to leave their principles at the door when they eat out and chefs are in a unique position to help us use the power of our appetites wisely and make better decisions.”
He went to on reveal targets which, while sounding ambitious, are essential if we are to fix food and with it, climate change.
“Food Made Good has been proven to galvanise and coordinate action to realise this potential. Our five-year goal is for our global network to influence the sustainability of 10 billion meals eaten out of home every year, making a huge contribution towards a better food system.”
Four territories are already on a pathway towards establishing a thriving sustainable food movement based on practical, business-focused principles, Japan, Benelux, Greece and Hong Kong. This quartet will look to build a thriving membership of operators using Food Made Good’s successful recipe, build on four key ingredients:
- Defining sustainability with its established framework
- Inspiring action with a full programme of events and campaigns as well as an extensive library of resource and information, and a community, both on and off-line, of like-minded industry professionals and businesses inspiring each other to take action
- Assessing performance with an industry standard sustainability rating
- Rewarding success with its Michelin Stars of Sustainability and annual Food Made Good Awards.
This concerted global push doesn’t come out of the blue. The SRA has been working with the World’s 50 Best Restaurants since 2014, judging the Sustainable Restaurant Award. Earlier this year we also announced that we’d become the official sustainability partner to the S.Pelligrino Young Chefs Social Responsibility Award. We also helped develop the Chefs Manifesto for the UN SDG2 Hub.
Harnessing the combined progressive actions of the diverse foodservice sector in the UK is the most effective way of achieving real impact. Bringing together businesses worldwide will ensure that positive change can be achieved even further and faster.