Sustainability and ethical food philosophy

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts has a proud tradition of championing quality food and hospitality and that includes where and how our ingredients are sourced and produced.

We strongly believe that quality includes sustainably sourced ingredients that come from producers and suppliers with high standards of animal welfare and that resources used in the preparation of food are effectively used and sustainably disposed.

Our sustainability and food philosophy serves to inspire the enjoyment of food using fresh, natural ingredients from sustainable, natural sources. The ingredients we use should be nurtured through sound and ethical production methods in nearby seas, waters, farms and in the wild.

It provides a platform to support local producers, communities and projects to support and promote sustainable and ethical food cultivation and to increase the health and wellbeing of all.

Individually and collectively we have a role to play, from inspiring our young people about food, to sourcing sustainable and ethically produced ingredients, reducing food waste, reducing energy and encouraging our teams, customers and communities.

That is why we are placing our sustainable and ethical food philosophy at the heart of what it means to be a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

Academicians, Affiliated Colleges, Associate Members and experts have contributed to our philosophy document. This documents outlines a series of activities that Academicians and Affiliated Colleges are working towards. These are structured around six pillars:

Pillar 1. Strategy: demonstrating and championing sustainable and ethical food values

This pillar allows members of the Academy (Academicians) to demonstrate what preparing, cooking and serving food from sustainable and ethical sources means to their business and sets out and stimulates action to meet core values. It includes spelling out the values that describes the businesses’ passion and commitment to sustainable and ethical food, producing an action plan and setting up a process that can galvanise and motivate the team to develop the action plan.

Pillar 2. Sourcing: sustainable sourcing and promoting biodiversity

This pillar focuses on ensuring that Academicians know the source of their produce and that as far as possible they come from sustainable and ethical sources. Where the business source their produce should support their values outlined in pillar one and where possible reflect the character of where their business is based and the relative seasons.

Pillar 3. Animal welfare: supporting high standards of animal welfare

This pillar focuses on sourcing produce that meets high standards of animal welfare, ensuring that the animal was reared in natural, free range settings.

Pillar 4. Resource and Waste Management: reducing waste and managing resources sustainably

This pillar focuses on reducing waste, water and energy. It covers the importance of measuring the quantity and cost of waste and putting in plans to reduce it. It also looks at measuring the amount of water and energy used and finding ways to reduce energy or find sustainable alternatives.  It also promotes effective food recycling and waste management and includes adapting menus to make full use of ingredients which may lead to waste reduction. Through effective waste management programmes it also focuses on reducing the use of micro-plastics, plastic and polystyrene.

Pillar 5. Modern Working Practices: encouraging, supporting and investing in your current and future workforce

This pillar focuses on how the business invests, nurtures, motivates and supports their teams and encourage and support new entrants into the industry.

Pillar 6. Promotion and engagement: championing and motivating a sustainable and ethical food philosophy

This pillar focuses on the Academician’s role as an ambassador to shout about their commitment to their sustainable and ethical food philosophy and help educate and stimulate their team, young people, peers and local community about it.