Despite the hard blow of successive confinements and the closure of establishments throughout France, French gastronomy has not said its last word and is moving towards a more sustainable approach.
If the health crisis has not been beneficial for many actors in the restaurant industry, it will at least have put local sourcing and the subject of food sovereignty back on the agenda, two subjects at the heart of sustainable gastronomy as defined by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) in 2010. “Sustainable diets help protect and respect biodiversity and ecosystems, are culturally acceptable, economically equitable and accessible, affordable, nutritionally safe and healthy, and optimize natural and human resources.”
In 2020, according to an IFOP study, 74% of French people cited at least one CSR (corporate social responsibility) dimension as a criterion for choosing a catering establishment, topping the list: displaying product traceability, favoring local producers and limiting food waste.
When it comes to ecology, it is in the restaurant owners’ best interest to source locally. Given the financial and ecological costs of fuel, the fewer kilometers the product travels, the better. It will also be possible to ensure the traceability of the product and its freshness, making it possible to speak about it better and to reassure the consumer.
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