Sustainability Award 2017
“Feedback from the inaugural 2016 awards has already resulted in restaurant owners making more connections with their farmers, asking for proof of claims from suppliers, and improving the education of their consumers, as well as taking steps to improve their own methods and menus.”
What will happen this year? Have last year’s entries gained enough knowledge to join us on the journey again?
Entries close on 31 August 2017 and judging will commence thereafter. The winner will be announced at the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards in November.
Interested South African restaurants are invited to complete an entry form to enter, will be required to show proof of claims, and will be subject to a site visit if shortlisted. All criteria need to have been met for six months or longer in order for a restaurant to qualify.
The judging panel for this new award comprises Abigail Donnelly, Pavitray Pillay of WWF-SASSI, Sonia Mountford of Eategrity and Karen Welter of Longtable Project. Eat Out has worked with these partners to develop robust criteria for evaluating restaurants for this award.
The winner will be the restaurant that best meets these criteria. The serving of foie gras, veal, pork derived from sow crates, suckling pig, rabbit and SASSI red-listed fish is grounds for elimination.
Tips for restaurants
Make sure your products are traceable to their source
Lack of traceability has been a hard lesson for some entrants, who were eliminated due to the lack of access to, or information from, their supplier farmers.
Ensure your seafood complies with SASSI’s list of green species
“My advice to new applicants,” says judge Pavitray Pillay, “is to make sure you know your seafood species, where it comes from, and get savvy about SASSI.”
Visit the farms yourself to check that what your suppliers are promising is true
Some restaurant owners and chefs were surprised to learn that the transparency offered to them by suppliers was not as accurate as they had believed. Spending time on supplier farms (whether they supply directly or via distributors) is still the most important action restaurant owners can take. Getting to know the farmers will ensure that everyone is aware of the expectations.
The inaugural winner
The first-ever winner, The Table at De Meye in Stellenbosch, is making great strides in sustainability. Thanks to the restaurant’s location on a wine farm, owners Jessica Shepherd and Luke Grant are able to design their weekly menu around what is available from their garden and carefully selected local producers with whom they cultivate long-term relationships. “[Jessica and Luke] place great value on ethical sourcing, seasonality, and the best ingredients locally available,” says judge Karen Welter. “Everything they do is to quietly and simply tell the story of a better food system they see as critical for our society.” (Watch our video to find out more about The Table.)
Sustainability Award 2016
“In an SA first, Eat Out and Woolworths are recognising restaurants that are implementing environmentally and socially responsible practices with the inaugural Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award,” described by Eat Out in the public call for entries. EATegrity certainly agrees, this is a groundbreaking award and a wonderful opportunity for creating awareness about encouraging more food sourcing from more sustainable practices.
You can also read the glossary here for explanations of the terms used in the form.
If there are any restaurants that you think stand a chance to win then please ask them to enter.