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Monday, July 16, 2012
More than 70% of restaurants have increased their use of locally sourced ingredients in the past two years, a survey has found.
The nationwide survey of Irish restaurant owners and chefs, conducted among previous recipients of Bord Bia’s Just Ask! award, found a significant number of menus indicate the local provenance of ingredients.
Restaurant owners noted that consumers are increasingly concerned about where their food is coming from and are actively looking for this information when dining out.
Among these was Kay Harte of the Farmgate Café in the English Market in Cork City, the 2012 Georgina Campbell Just Ask! winner.
She said: "More and more customers are asking us where their food is coming from. People are no longer content with knowing what it is they are eating, they want to know the origin of the produce too. We include a list at the back of our menu and have a dedicated ‘supply chain’ section on our website which names all of our suppliers, many of which come straight from the market downstairs."
The survey found that 85% of respondents feel their business has improved because of their transparency regarding sourcing of ingredients, while 75% rate freshness as the most important reason for buying local.
Some 65% of restaurant owners buy local to support the local economy, while 61% source the meat used in their restaurant from within their own county.
The survey also shows that as a result of the increase in demand for sourcing ingredients locally, food producers are increasingly offering more unusual products such as trout caviar.
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