Sustainable sourcing is becoming a more important issue as the threats of severe weather are causing concern that crop yields could be reduced, causing food shortages. These weather events are becoming a more immediate reality as climate change continues to affect global environmental conditions.

Also, customer demand for sustainable and organic foods is stronger than it has ever been. There is greater trust for brands that provide local sourcing and sustainable practices. Customers today are more interested in where their food comes from, and their perception of quality largely stems from these factors. Customers are more interested in company transparency compared to promises about the dining experience than they have been in the past.

How to pick sustainable suppliers

Ask suppliers where the produce is coming from and how far it needs to travel. Learn some details about how the food is grown, such as the use of commercial fertilizer. When buyers continue to ask these questions, suppliers will start to change their sourcing to suit their needs. You could supplement your food inventory with local sustainable sources or join with other local businesses to buy local foods in bulk to reduce costs. It might take more administrative organization to branch out into a variety of sourcing options.

When ordering more exotic food items, such as spices or unusual fruits, they will usually need to be ordered from other countries. Before ordering these items, find out how they’re grown and who the people are who grow or raise the food. Consider buying from Fairtrade-certified sources to support a more ethical industry for growers in impoverished nations.

Food carbon calculation

There are some free tools available to help food businesses calculate their carbon impact. The World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol is a product standard that tracks the carbon emissions from various parts of a product’s production cycle. This includes growing, harvesting, transport, packaging and so forth. A free calculator called the Cool Farm Tool helps farmers and suppliers allows growers to measure and gain insights about the carbon footprint of their crops and livestock.

Growing your own food

It is a current trend for restaurants that want to reduce their carbon footprint to grow some of their own food products. This reduces the travel miles of products to zero, which greatly reduces carbon emissions.

There is a growing number of consumers, businesses and organizations that are looking for ways to improve sustainability and organic groceries. With a little bit of research and a willingness to adjust some business processes, you can help combat the global crisis of climate change and improve your company brand.

About the author

Emma Sturgis

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