Everything we have achieved to date at Free Range Dairy has been delivered through communication and collaboration with others who share similar values. That’s not just about the farmers we work with, it’s also about the people who buy and consume our milk too. Recently we have enjoyed the privilege of sharing our ideas with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and we are looking at how we can supply free range milk under the Pasture Promise label, to their members.
The next time you dine out don’t leave your principles at home. Here’s a copy of the article that appeared in our August Supporter Newsletter.
We Brits now enjoy an incredible 8 billion meals which we haven’t had to cook every year – whether at the local gastropub for Sunday Roast, brunch at our favourite café or dinner at a Michelin Starred restaurant for a special occasion. Incredibly, Londoners now eat out as often as those dining addicts in New York.
We are in the midst of a food revolution and to complement our love of eating out we’ve developed a raging thirst for knowledge – about where the food on our plate is from and how it is produced.
Shopping for food at home we can read the packages for reassurance and look for the certifications to help guide our decisions. But what happens when we eat out. Whether free-range eggs are a must, you have a real bee in your bonnet about food waste, or want to see your waiter paid a decent wage, how do you know?
That’s where the Food Made Good programme, run by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) comes in. Launched five years ago by restaurateurs, including Henry Dimbleby of Leon and Mark Sainsbury of Grain Store and the Zetter, the SRA was set up to help anyone who cared a fig about their food to make informed decisions – not check in their principles at the cloakroom.
There are now 5,500 places offering consumers a sustainable dining experience, from Cornwall to Shetland, including independent bistros, fish and chip shops, pubs, high street chains like Pizza Express and Carluccio’s and Michelin starred restaurants, as well as dozens of workplace canteens, university cafeterias and even Eurostar trains and Virgin Atlantic planes—there’s a huge menu of options to choose from.
All of the SRA Members complete the Food Made Good sustainability rating which assesses them across their whole business operation, so that when you come to order your meal you know that it won’t be costing the earth. That means if you choose to eat somewhere sporting the Food Made Good gold stars (One, Two or Three – known by many as the Michelin Stars of Sustainability) you know that they’re not just taking care of the ingredients they’re sourcing, but are also going the extra mile to ensure their footprint on the environment is kept to a minimum and their impact on the community is as positive as possible.
And it’s not all about hair shirts and having to sacrifice anything. Quite the opposite, sustainability is all about smart, innovative thinking, helping to make the food taste that little bit better.
As SRA President Raymond Blanc says: “What’s great is that sustainability is synonymous with good food – local and seasonal produce, high welfare meat, great customer service and so on. Diners can really enhance their experience and put their passion for good food into action by choosing sustainable restaurants.”
Next time you’re planning on eating out, check the Food Made Good Diners’ Guide as you make your dining plans.