13 October 2020

Principles and produce: Our modern food philosophy

As the market leader in sports and leisure catering, we see it as our duty to leverage the power of our supply chain to drive better standards and help achieve the values we aspire to in food. Our suppliers are fundamental to what we are able to deliver for our venue partners across the country. In line with our broader food philosophy, we are constantly building, shaping and refining our regional, national and international supply networks around a number of core principles.

Through our food strategy, we are committed to sustainable menu planning across our venue portfolio. Inspired by the EAT-Lancet report on sustainable food systems, we build balanced, plant-forward menus that are beneficial towards both personal and planetary health. Our Levy Cares Charter further details the commitments we have made in this and other areas. We want to stop wasteful habits in the food industry by using more of the produce we select. This means encouraging a strategic shift towards a whole carcass, ‘nose to tail’ approach when using meat products across our venues.

We are proud that a quarter of our menus are already plant-based, vegetarian or vegan. This is driven by the plant-forward approach we take when sourcing the produce for the food we serve. Plant-forward does not mean eliminating meat entirely – instead, it is about identifying the importance of collectively reducing our reliance on meat as the main component of every dish and promoting plants to the forefront. For the fruits and vegetables that we use, British seasonality is a must, and we are committed to working closely with new and existing suppliers to achieve this.

We are committed to measuring and actively reducing carbon impact across our portfolio to assist our venue partners in achieving net zero carbon emissions targets. As a food business, we have bold ambitions to one day be in a position to deliver carbon neutral menus in as many of our venues as possible. We will also continue to promote craft, artisan and authentic producers, particularly at a time when smaller farms and suppliers need our support. We take great care in ensuring that all of our suppliers adhere to our rigorous environmental and welfare standards before we use their produce in our menus and continue to work towards limiting our reliance on air freight. Where feasible, our focus will always be on local provenance. Where available, we also make use of kitchen gardens at our venues to grow everything from herbs and leafy greens to root vegetables and beyond.

Working closely with food producers, manufacturers and suppliers is crucial to ensuring that the meals we serve across our venue portfolio are exciting, tasty and increasingly beneficial to people and to the planet. We believe that as the market leader it is our duty to continuously drive positive impact in these areas and be the change we wish to see across the food industry.