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Food sustainability: A closer look at the food value chain

Locally, the adoption of a holistic approach to food sustainability in the restaurant industry in South Africa has been inconsistent with questions around what truly constitutes a sustainable restaurant and some concerns around greenwashing. In the meantime, organisations such as WWF, SWSA (Sustainable Wine South Africa), WWF SASSI and Woolworths have been working with individual farmers and fisheries to reduce their footprint and adopt more efficient farming and better labour practices leading to improved food sustainability. An opportunity exists to merge current activities in the food produce arena with the restaurant industry.

Why now? Is the timing finally here for impactful sustainable restaurants in South Africa?

South Africa faces mounting pressure in terms of resource scarcity. The impact of electricity shortages and water scarcity/drought has had an impact on both farmers and chefs sourcing good produce. Restaurants form the nexus point, with the ability to influence their operations on several key topics,

  • Using local, sustainable produce.
  • Reduce water and energy consumption.
  • Reduce waste & divert from landfill.
  • Social and environmental impact of using sustainable produce and reducing footprint.
  • Engage and connect with consumers.

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