&Beyond’s food philosophy is simple. Our food exudes the essence of each destination’s richness, history and soul. It’s served with tradition, and imbued with ritual and a sense of place. It is shared with joy.
However, &Beyond’s food table is more than a celebration of regionally inspired food. It’s also a story table of win-win procurement initiatives, and heartwarming personal journeys.
The compounded benefits of local procurement
One of our key focus areas to support local communities has been local procurement initiatives that are facilitated by our community development partner, Africa Foundation. In fact our goal is for at least 50% of our lodge operational expenses to be sourced from small local business, and in this way realising tangible economic benefits for these rural communities.
With these economic benefits comes a positive community association with the meaningful benefits of conservation. This community support and active interest in our conservation measures is fundamental to our vision of creating a sustainable future for the land, wildlife and people of our &Beyond regions.
In East Africa, this commitment to local procurement is reflected in the sourcing of fresh local produce where possible.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is a perfect case in point:
50% of our fresh food is sourced from local farmers situated just outside of the conservation area and within 20 km of the lodge.
In the last year, this has translated into:
- 30 000 kg of vegetables
- USD 40 000 income for local suppliers
- 95% of our kitchen waste recycled and given to farmers for compost and pig food
- The piggeries have grown into small businesses that will soon be economically viable
- The close proximity of our local suppliers reduces our logistics carbon footprint
How’s all that for a good-news ripple?
Our real-life magic ingredients
The inspiring journeys of &Beyonders like Mama Esther Mashina are other real-life magic ingredients that flavour our food tables. Her growth from chef de partie to her current position of junior executive chef and mentor is a mirror of the many &Beyonder stories still to be told.
It seems only right for Mama Esther to have the closing words on these food stories:
“I am very proud because when I joined &Beyond, is not how I am now.”
To support any one of our community initiatives, click here