Raymond Blanc appointed president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association

Raymond Blanc
13/07/2012 - 08:37
Chef Raymond Blanc OBE has marked his appointment as president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) by issuing a challenge to UK restaurants.

Blanc urged chefs and restaurants to capitalise on their reputation for having one of the world’s finest cuisines and become world leaders in sustainability.

To do this, he said, restaurants must respond to consumer demand for greater transparency about the provenance of the food they serve, and how they manage their environmental and social responsibilities. Failure to do so, would, he said, result in a huge missed opportunity and see potential customers vote with their wallets.

Blanc has issued a parallel appeal to the public to play their part in his plan for a food revolution encouraging them to question restaurant staff about the things that matter to them and only eat out in places that match their core values.

He says diners should be asking questions like: where does your meat and fish come from?; can we take home our leftovers?; and what is the restaurant’s policy on tips?.

Blanc said: “Increasingly the consumer wants to know where their food comes from and what is in it. Food used to be a cheap commodity, but not anymore. It connects with our landscape, our soil, our heritage, our health and what kind of society we are creating for tomorrow.

“Chefs, restaurateurs and consumers can make the difference by embracing these values and in doing so create a better food chain. Thousands of chefs have done so by joining the SRA, demonstrating that good sustainability can translate into good business and this is very important to us if we are to capitalise on our reputation as one of the finest food nations in the world.”

Launched in 2010, the SRA works with restaurants of all kinds; restaurants as diverse as Michelin-starred Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles and Enochs Fish and Chips in Llandudno as well as large groups like Carluccio’s, Prezzo and Brasserie Blanc.

Blanc added: “For 40 years I have cared passionately about sourcing and serving the very best food, looking after my staff and the community and environment around me.  In the last two years I have really sensed the beginnings of a movement in restaurants across this country to meet their environmental and social responsibilities.

“But, unless more restaurants meet consumer demand for restaurants to behave responsibly, then we will miss this opportunity to make this mainstream and lose the chance to leave a significant legacy for chefs and diners.”

Mark Linehan, managing director of the SRA, added: “We exist to help and support restaurants operate more sustainably and provide diners with the tools to make the informed decisions they tell us they want to make. We are delighted to have someone as committed as Raymond Blanc at the forefront of this ongoing campaign and join him in his call to restaurants to grasp this opportunity.”

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