Caterer Graysons pledges commitment to Ark of Taste programme

31/01/2018 - 07:00
Contract catering firm Graysons has pledged its support to Slow Food’s ‘Ark of Taste’ programme, a global at-risk register of rare and heritage varieties of crops and breeds.

The Chelmsford-based group has nominated products to the Ark and has ensured that these products come through its supply chain and are used across all sites.

As part of the commitment, the company is producing chutney made with Blenheim Orange apples, preserving what is otherwise a seasonal fruit and sustaining British orchards.

Other products set to be used across Graysons contracts include Laxtons Superior Apple, English Ewes Milk Cheeses (Berkswell) and English Raw Milk Cheeses (Stichelton)

Barry Nichols, Graysons executive chef, said: “We see the support and use of Ark products as part of our core values, that we can support our food heritage in a tangible and sustainable way’’

Graysons’ clients include the British Library, Rooms on Regent’s Park, QVC and BMW Group UK. The company recently won contracts to provide catering serves at Riccardo plc and IOP Publishing.

In supporting the Ark of Taste programme, Graysons joins Slow Food Chef Alliance chefs such as Michel Roux, Girogio Locateli and Raymond Blanc, in committing to help preserve the future of rarer products.

“The Ark of Taste is critical to maintaining a wider pool of genetic diversity, crucial in these times of climate change and increased pests and crop disease,” said Shane Holland, executive chairman of Slow Food in the UK.

“Graysons’ support of Ark apples for example, means that these products remain viable against a backdrop of 70% of all the apples we eat coming from just three varieties.

“British farming, and with it the landscape that we all enjoy, have never been under so much stress and uncertainty. Working with Graysons to source Ark products which are indigenous to the area of their sites, means that genuine local food will be served, which will in turn return income to the communities where they operate”

There are currently more than 150 rare varieties of crops and breeds in the UK and more than 4,500 recorded worldwide.

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