Raymond Blanc becomes the first President of the SRA
The occasion was marked with Raymond and Thomasina Miers, founder of Wahaca Restaurants, cooking Mexican street food from a van in London's Canary Wharf. Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron of the two Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons has always been a champion and campaigner of sustainability and food ethics. Today he adds President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) to his panoply of awards and accolades.
Raymond is appealing to the public to play their part in the shaping of the future of the UK restaurants everywhere – and is calling for the industry to embrace good strong ethics. He has urged consumers to join together to learn more about provenance, how food is produced and actively challenges restaurants to match updated consumer values – by voting with their wallets.
In effect, Raymond wants all consumers to unite in the common desire to create a food revolution. A revolution that is for everyone and certainly not just a preserve of the wealthy in urban settings. Raymond said:
“For 40 years I have cared passionately about sourcing and serving the very best food, looking after my staff and the community and environment around me. In the last two years I have really sensed the beginnings of a movement in restaurants across this country to meet their environmental and social responsibilities.
“Hundreds of chefs in all types of restaurants, from the Michelin-starred ones to fish and chip shops are working with the SRA to improve the whole way they manage their business. But, unless the public, many of whom care about these things, start to demand that restaurants behave responsibly, then we will miss this opportunity to make this mainstream and lose the chance to leave a significant legacy for chefs and diners.”
The types of questions we should be asking range from: Where does your meat and fish come from? to Can we take home our leftovers? and What is the restaurant’s policy on tips?
Launched in 2010, the SRA works with more than 1,000 restaurants of all kinds across the UK; Restaurants as diverse as Michelin-starred Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles and The Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven as well as large groups including Carluccio’s, Prezzo and Brasserie Blanc, as well as pubs and mobile caterers.
Wahaca are founder members of the SRA and received the association’s Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year award in January 2012. Their website can be visited here: www.wahaca.co.uk
The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) is a national, not-for-profit membership organisation providing more than 1000 restaurants with expert sustainability advice through a team of specialist account managers. The SRA helps member restaurants source food more sustainably, manage resources more efficiently and work more closely with their community. Members enjoy the economic benefits of greater sustainability and the SRA promotes their activities to consumers.
The SRA Sustainability Rating involves restaurants completing a rigorous survey, providing answers and evidence to 65 questions across 14 areas of sustainability. The SRA then assesses the results and rates the restaurants accordingly.
The SRA ratings are featured in Harden’s and Les Routiers. Giles Coren’s reviews in The Times and the Pro versus Punter reviews in Olive magazine also feature SRA ratings.
Diners can view SRA ratings on the SRA website - www.thesra.org
To read the SRA news piece on their new president: www.thesra.org/raymond-blanc