How Banyan Tree is championing sustainable future through food amidst COVID-19

As a global leader in sustainability and wellbeing, Banyan Tree Group is driving a sustainable future through food. Food choices greatly impact not only our health, but our collective future, and food carbon footprints through the value chain make up one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Consumer surveys post-COVID have shown that over 75% of consumers will choose to live healthier lifestyles after this pandemic, with food choices and nutrition ranking as one of the top areas for change.

Leading the curve in responsible business, this is yet another pioneering initiative by the group to bring personal wellbeing and the greater good closer together.

Biodynamic Retained Farming

Championing local procurement and sustainably sourced food, the group has soft-opened ORI9IN – the first gourmet organic farm in Chiangmai, Thailand in July. It is a joint venture with James Noble, two Michelin-Star chef-turned-sustainable-farmer of The Boutique Farmers. This partnership of agro-tourism aims to lead the curve in sustainable retained farming and cooperatives for living and eating well. It is the only retained farming operation globally that partners with a network of top restaurants and hotels, focusing on import substitution and reducing carbon footprint without sacrificing flavour. Set on 350 acres of land, ORI9IN is a multi-faceted biodynamic farm with extensive facilities and market distribution of high quality organic products planted by local farmers.

Sustainable Supply Chain

In 2019, the chain implemented a code of conduct for suppliers to map supply chain transparency in ingredients sourcing and promote socio-environmental practices to develop a sustainable supply chain. To date, over 900 suppliers have registered. For 2020, in line with marine conservation goals around biodiversity, the Group has implemented a 25% benchmark of sustainable seafood sourcing by 2025 from sustainable fisheries. Banyan Tree Global Foundation’s experts will review seafood species served at each location and support identification of sustainably certified alternatives and opportunities for its properties.

Value-aligned F&B Partnerships

To this end, it has also embarked on collaborations in different areas of the food value chain. A soon- to-launch one is with Grassroots Pantry, a pioneering brand in Hong Kong which is at the fore of plant-based cuisine in Asia’s fine dining scene. Activist and founder-chef Peggy Chan said: “I am encouraged that there is an increasing movement for more sustainable kitchens and menus. By introducing techniques and combining ingredients that are not often used in commercial kitchens, we can help pave the way for more inventive and health supportive concoctions across the hotels in the near future.”

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