Sadly, last week I couldn’t upload a blogpost because I was in London and I had no internet all week. But now I’m back with a little London special. I hope you had a great week and without any further ado lets talk about what i’ve stumbled upon.
Today I want to talk about my experience at one of the known restaurant chain of London, I’ve got invited by my good friend, currently living in London, while I was there with my sister.
The restaurant I want to talk about is called Leon and it’s a company that focuses on sustainability.
The word sustainability was first used in the economy to ensure a long-lasting increase of profit but nowadays it is used for the whole package of environmental, economic and social balance that helps to use resources in a good way that provides a long term use.
To ensure this Leon has co-founded the Sustainable Restaurant Association. This non-profit organisation was founded 2010 by Giles Gibbons und Simon Heppner und two restaurant owners, Henry Dimbleby (co-Founder of Leon) und Mark Sainsbury.
Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA):
There are some main focus areas
- The source of the product:
Here the key areas are the local and seasonal production, the ethical principles in connection with animal products, environmentally conscious cultivation, sustainable fishing and faire trade.
- Our society:
Important in this key area is treating people fairly, providing healthy food for everyone, the community engagement and the respnsible marketing.
- The environment:
In the last area, they care about our environment. The key subjects are recycling and the correct waste management, the energy efficiency, water saving, workplace resources and the supply chain.
How does it work?
The SRA offers various recognition certificates, but also acts as a counseling center. There are certain framework conditions, based on the areas mentioned above, the Food Made Good program is based on these. To be part of the association, you can complete a questionnaire, and by doing so, the individual company can view their progress but also recognize resources that have not yet been exploited. You can receive stars and be awarded.
This will then be displayed on the shop windows, listed on the website and of course on the menu cards. Currently, the Leon has 2 out of 3 stars but is aiming for the third.
The SRA supports that company in their success through a particular cycle.
- Rating: Assessment of the current situation, the company sees where they can make improvements
- Review: showing similar companies and comparing values, recommendations for improvement, awarding stars
- Plan: Based on the priorities of a company, individual goals are set and concrete suggestions for improvement are proposed. Ideas can be exchanged during this time.
- Celebrate: Celebrating new results and improvements, awarding stars.
- Improve: Improvement can be achieved in any area and the SRA tries to lead each company individually to its personal goal.
First of all a big compliment to the kitchen, the food is just fantastic. We ate there twice during the four days and it was really delicious. At the same time, it did not allow you to feel guilty although we ate a lot of deserts. The dishes are, despite of being a fast food chain, healthy and made from natural foods. It has a large assortment of vegetarian and lactose as well as gluten free products, which is why the restaurant is also suitable for allergy sufferers.
What is Leon doing for the sustainability of the chain?
Their meet is mainly british apart from the chorizo that comes from Spain. The meet has accreditation from Freedom Food and Red Tractor, which are farms they can trust, they also make two visits to the farm each year to prove that everything is like they expect it to be. The products are fair trade and/ or organic and they care about the wellbeing of the animals.
There are two types of fish they sell cod and salmon. The cod is line caught and out of sustainable swarms in Iceland. On the Marine Conservation Siciety`s (MCS) «Fish to Eat, Fish to Avoid» scale they are rated with a 2. The salmon is brought from an independent fish farm in Scotland, where the fish are kept in a natural environment, fished without machines and neither antibiotics nor growth promoters are used. They have certificates of Freedom Food and Friend of the Sea.
The honey they sell is a raw honey that has not been warmed up or processed, meaning it is organic and full of healthy nutrients that are otherwise lost in the process. Because bees are very important to them, they are working with the british company Hilltop in Montgomeryshire, Wales to ensure that neither the honey nor the bees that produce it are exposed to any chemicals. 5% of the profits go into maintain bees, you can adopt bees and they help them to hibernate.
When I was there I could see that they had a big sign in the restaurant, which spoke out against plastic. Nevertheless, I only got plastic dishes even if I consumed there. But when I did my research on the page I could see that they are going to change everything, but they still have to use all their plastic utensils to keep the plastic from being thrown away unused. The dishes are replaced by compostable and biodegradable alternatives.
This restaurant is committed to a variety of sustainability related projects and I believe healthy eating is an important goal of our society today. I hope you got a picture of it and if you are interested, then you can get the cookbook of the restaurant in one of your local bookstores or in the restaurant itself.