Local food trend helps hotels, suppliers and planet

Hotels can tap into the appetite for quality locally sourced ingredients while helping suppliers and the planet, according to hospitality experts.
At a session during the global World Travel Market exhibition at Excel, London last week, delegates heard examples of how hotels had linked with producers in sustainable projects that were mutually beneficial.
In South Africa some quality hotels now use salt of a very high standard produced by traditional methods from a sacred site, giving the woman who harvest the ingredient a more sustainable income.
Through better negotiation with suppliers Hilton has started producing menus that enable farmers to plant crops in a more sustainable way. 
In Turkey, since 2010, The Travel Foundation has helped 22 hotels to use more local produce and farmers to improve their yield, product quality and sustainable processes. The farmers involved now gain 50% of their local income from hotel sales, while the hotels involved have almost doubled their local sourcing of food. 
Leeds Becket University's responsible travel specialist Dr Xavier Font pointed out that as well the wider community considerations, there are direct environmental benefits to such schemes, with up to 80% of water consumption in hotels relating to the food supply chain. Meanwhile, there is a growing desire from guests for quality, local food.
 "We can make amazing achievements in energy consumption working with something that the market is ready to accept," he said.