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Sodexo chef David Mulcahy

Quality of Life

Shining a spotlight on British food

"I have long been a passionate advocate of British food as a chef, using locally-sourced produce as much as possible, and really championing the breadth of ingredients available from within the UK in my role with Sodexo." - by David Mulcahy, food innovation director, Sodexo UK and Ireland 

"For a company that has food at its heart, celebrating and supporting our partner producers and suppliers is incredibly important to us. Locally-sourced food tends to be fresher, more sustainable and, of course, has travelled fewer food miles so has a smaller impact on the environment. These factors are important to us and we also know that it’s high on the agenda for our clients and customers as well.    

"We are proud to partner with Love British Food, which leads the national promotion of British produce and encourages caterers and retailers to choose British food wherever possible. We’ve been a supporter for many years, with our sites really embracing British Food Fortnight, which takes place in October, and using it to shine the spotlight on the local ingredients we use in our menus. 

"There’s something wholesome about growing fruit and veg or rearing animals, and more than ever people love hearing the story about where their food is coming from and the passion that has gone into it. That’s why Sodexo is highlighting a number of our producers over British Food Fortnight, such as Dingley Dell pork and the wonderful cheeses made at White Lake Cheese.

"There’s also some fantastic seafood available to us in this country, which I personally love to cook with. There was a time when all the hake from south west England was being exported to Spain and Portugal but increasingly it’s being recognised here and used to create delicious healthy dishes. As well as our rivers producing delights such as Chalk Stream Trout, we also have some of the best oysters, mussels and clams in our waters.

"With a significant shift towards plant-based diets in recent times, it’s also important that we celebrate the wealth of fruit and veg grown in the UK. Sodexo has proudly joined forces with WasteKnot in our campaign to reduce the amount of grade B fruit and vegetables – that is, those which don’t meet strict cosmetic criteria but are perfectly fine to eat – that is thrown away or left to rot. 

"We launched Wasteful to Tasteful in 2018, partnering through WasteKnot with Ferryfast, a cooperative of famers in Worcestershire, to supply our units with boxes of rescued produce to use in innovative ways and promote the power of plants. Not only does this reduce food waste, which is one of our key Better Tomorrow commitments, but it also means we are supporting farmers who have spent time and effort growing and harvesting the produce. 

It’s important to us as a company that we are using responsibly-sourced ingredients, and buying local products means we are confident that our fresh meat is Red Tractor certified, and our seafood meets Marine Stewardship Council standards. 

"Of course, by using local suppliers and producers, we are also supporting the British economy and employment. 

"I would encourage everyone to make the most of the wonderful ingredients available to us and see what meals you can make using local, seasonal produce this British Food Fortnight."

British Food Fortnight runs from 21 September to 6 October. Find out more at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk

September 27, 2019

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