How the way we eat has changed the demand for fresh produce

County Supplies is a client of Business Reporter

The demand for local food is everywhere. It has gone from a foodie movement to an established dominant idea. Sourcing fresh, local ingredients is a rapidly growing trend: we see it featured on restaurant menus and in growing demand from our school, office and event customers.

This is partly because people are more environmentally conscious and want to know where their food comes from. Plus, as we know, fresh produce tastes so much better!

This has resulted in chefs celebrating seasonality and, where they can, supporting local farmers and producers. Chefs need to follow food trends and know what’s in season. Adding more seasonality to their menus and educating diners on a star ingredient, or the dish itself, is often a big part of the job now.

To do this, they must follow the agricultural harvest calendar, which tells them when fruits and vegetables are at their best taste and ripeness. They need to know where the ingredients come from, be aware of how many deliveries they make, and try to reduce their food miles and packaging waste.

It was an exciting time for British producers. They have emerged a lot over the last decade. In the past, it was mostly the chef or the dish that was celebrated, but today the praise goes to the fresh produce and the farms themselves.

How has County Supplies adapted to meet today’s changing needs?

County Supplies and the industry as a whole have changed significantly over the years.

We are seeing new agricultural innovations and the adoption of greener cultivation techniques. And this is set to continue. More and more people are now following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and we are eating a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. As a result, we now stock over 2,000 kinds of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, frozen and dry goods, supplying over 500 customers.

We’ve always loved British produce – there’s no such thing as a fresh British strawberry – so it’s great that demand for local produce has increased.

With our 24/7 operation, the cauliflower you bought from us today was more than likely in the ground less than 24 hours ago.

Fresh is better

Our goal is to provide the best fresh produce in a sustainable way, never more than today.

We try to work with the best UK and international producers. We are proud to be accredited by the British Retail Consortium, Red Tractor and Leaf, and to work with growers who meet the high standards of sustainable farming.

And today, not all produce needs to look perfect – we supply surplus or ‘wonky’ fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be destined for landfill or left to rot in the fields.

We pay close attention to how our products are delivered – our vehicles are fully refrigerated with full Garmin temperature and delivery tracking.

We hope that the trend towards more sustainable local products will continue. Climate change is obviously a concern and I hope we are not too late to address it.

There is no doubt that farmers will have to adapt their cultivation techniques to more variable weather conditions. This may mean we eat more of what is in season and have less of the luxury of year-round availability than we do today.

However, we hope to serve a wider customer base, supplying the best UK and international products within 20 years.

For more information visit countysupplies.com

Originally published on Business Reporter

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