Now here’s an initiative that gets a big stamp of approval from me. I’m always telling people not to wait for Earth Day or Clean Up Australia Day – make a difference today – however big or small. So it’s great when you hear about big corporations and global organizations doing the same.
Especially when it comes to issues close to my heart like marine conservation and sustainable seafood.
This April, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts celebrated the global rollout of its sustainable food program, Rooted in Nature, by hosting a month-long celebration of the group’s most exceptional food purveyors. Throughout April, Shangri-La hotels all over the world recognised the farmers, fisherman and ranchers that make dining at Shangri-La not only delicious but also sustainable.
Special Rooted in Nature events and promotions took place at all Shangri-La and Kerry hotels highlighting sustainable sources of produce, fish, and meat that can be found on the hotels’ menus year-round and celebrating the purveyors who responsibly steward the land and sea to provide Shangri-La chefs with the best possible ingredients.
Shangri-La hotels and resorts run programs around the world include kitchen gardens on hotel grounds, locally-sourced organic vegetables and fruits, line-caught fish, free range poultry and beef, even honey from a hotel’s own beehive.
In Borneo, diners at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa can enjoy oyster mushrooms grown by the visually-impaired residents of the Wallace Shelter in nearby Tuaran. The locally-grown mushrooms will be served at the resort’s Coffee Terrace Restaurant.
In Manila, a company called Meliomar Inc. provides the chefs of Makati Shangri-La, Manila with yellowfin tuna fished in accordance to marine council-certified guidelines. Meliomar works directly with community-based coastal fisheries representing over 3,000 fishermen who have a combined total of 1,000 small fishing boats.
In the home of the terracotta warriors in China, Shangri-La Hotel, Xian buys directly from apple farmers in Chunhua County, the first certified GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) county in China.
Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto celebrates Canadian products throughout the menu of its standout restaurant Bosk. Chef Damon Campbell’s signature creation, the caviar doughnut, uses Northern Divine Caviar which is produced by a Western Canadian fishery and is recognised as sustainable by the Ocean Wise Programme. It is the first certified organic caviar produced in Canada and the only in the world that is certified to not contain added hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or GMO’s.
In the Maldives, chefs at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives worked with farmers on neighbouring Meedhoo Island to create a farmer’s cooperative. As the first luxury resort on the southern atoll, Shangri-La wanted to create a sustainable local source of produce for the hotel’s restaurants. Guests can now enjoy Maldivian lobsters caught by local fisherman and sold directly to the resort at its own jetty.
While organic farming is not an easy thing to do in Hong Kong, the chefs of Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong and Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong have managed to find a local source of organic produce for the hotel kitchens. Chefs from both hotels work with 616 Farm, an organic farm in the New Territories certified by the Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre, which supplies a variety of vegetables including radishes, bok choy, beetroot, celery and tomatoes for Shangri-La restaurants throughout the year.
All up, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts operates 89 hotels around the world in diverse locations – from Hong Kong to Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, Kota Kinabalu and Guilin. The Rooted in Nature program recognises the vast differences in the group’s locations and aims to enable all Shangri-La hotels and resorts to incorporate sustainable items from their unique markets into their menus.
You can identify Rooted in Nature menu items by spotting the pea shoot logo beside the dish description on all menus, and they must all meet one or more of five guidelines with an ingredient that is prominent in that dish.
With Shangri-La’s Rooted in Nature initiative, the hotel group aims to:
- support local agricultural and fishing communities,
- buy chemical pesticide-free local produce,
- source from free-range livestock and poultry products where possible,
- acquire sustainably-sourced seafood that are caught through ethical means,
- and serve organic and fair trade products indicated by national and local food safety standards.
Further information on Rooted in Nature can be found here.