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Improving sustainable practices at all our properties is something we are constantly championing across Virgin Limited Edition. With continuous success stories aplenty, we're one of the leading hotel businesses in the world putting sustainability at the heart of all we do - you can read more about our work with the Sustainable Restaurant Association here.
On Necker Island, the chefs have been busy reviewing where they can improve their current practices and develop the island as a role model for sustainability in the BVI. Following their recent SRA report scorecard, the team has identified three areas they are looking to focus their efforts on over the coming year.
One area Necker Island is looking to improve is food supply, sourcing food from local producers and taking advantage of seasonal, regional produce. Building relationships with farmers in the community is really important in order to nurture this aspect. The team are also keen to use a wider variety of regional fruits and vegetables. While people may have heard of popular local foods such as papaya, coconut and watermelon, other less familiar local produce such as granadilla (a fruit with a shiny orange skin and edible jelly-like pulp inside), bequia plums and mamey (a bit like a tropical apricot) are being left off local menus. However this is all set to change.
The team are also educating guests about where the food they are eating has come from. You may spot some friendly signs next to that tasty bowl of fresh fruit at breakfast, or a handy poster about the local farms where the food is sourced. Keeping education and communication channels open is key.
This refers to knowing in detail where all the meat consumed on the island has come from and understanding where all the meat and fish were reared and caught.
The chefs on Necker are carefully choosing which suppliers to work with, looking at businesses that promote high welfare and sustainable practices. This includes meat and fish consumed on the island, as well as produce such as milk and eggs.
The team is also planning to create more sustainable menus and to align themselves more with brands that have been certified for their fair trade credentials. This will not only provide a further guarantee that the food on the menu has come from a sustainable source, but help the local community to build a better future.
Another related aspect is the evolution of staff lunches. The team is striving to provide better vegetarian side options, healthier choices and to have less meat on the meu. Happy healthy tummies equal healthy happy smiles after all!
Sir Richard Branson once said "Sustainability is not an economic pain, but an economic opportunity." The chefs on Necker are committed to making these changes and the results will not only benefit staff and guests, but local farmers, suppliers and ultimately the environment. Keep watching this space to keep up to date with all the latest developments. This really is just the beginning.
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