Elior promotes locally-grown produce by featuring AOPn strawberries in its French restaurants
Since 2013, Elior has followed a procurement policy for locally-grown produce that satisfy strict specifications. Dubbed “produits sélection”, these select products allow guests to discover the richness of French regions, while raising diners’ awareness to healthy, sustainable and nature-friendly foods. From May 23 to June 6, AOPn -sourced (National Association of Producer Organizations) strawberries will be served in Elior France’s restaurants.
For two weeks, Elior’s 9,490 restaurants and points of sale in France (in the educational, B&I and healthcare catering markets) are featuring quality French strawberries. Elior has carefully selected suppliers who implement sustainable practices and satisfy strict specifications:
- Delicious taste: to guarantee a high quality throughout the different French regions, Elior has chosen heart-shaped “fraise ronde” strawberries that are picked when ripe and are uniform in color. The “fraise ronde” strawberry family includes several varieties (Clery, Charlotte, Darselect, Murano) that are firm and juicy and have a particularly sweet-tangy flavor.
- Environment-friendly: AOPn strawberries are handpicked, and pollinated naturally via bumblebee and honeybee hives.
- Produced locally: the strawberries are cultivated in five regions in France, namely: the North, the Loire Valley, the Rhône-Alpes, the South-West and the South-East. Created in 2008, the AOPn strawberry network includes over 500 French strawberry producers whose overall aim is to sustain and develop the production of French strawberries by offering consumers varieties of quality.
Anne-Cathy de Taevernier, Director of responsible products for Elior France, stated: “With this procurement policy, Elior strives to offer quality produce that is locally-grown and eco-friendly. By serving our guests these strawberries in our restaurants, we can offer the most delicious quality products that are typical of our regions and produced with respect for the standards of the food catering business and for nature as a whole.”
The “produits sélection” are part of the Group’s CSR strategy
Within the context of its responsible procurement policy, Elior strives to identify and promote the finest locally-grown produce. To be featured in this selection, these products must meet the following criteria:
- Taste: selected produce are characterized by their distinctive taste due to the region of origin and the agricultural processes used in their cultivation.
- Origin: the process of selecting locally-grown produce promotes the economic development of the regions by supporting farmers in their quest to find new markets. Elior teams work hand in hand with local French farmers to contribute to the development of sustainable food chains (for fruit and vegetables, meat and cold-cuts, bakery products and seafood, etc.) that are adapted to meet the challenges in the catering sector.
- Best practices of producers: Elior works closely with producers who carefully assess the cultivation needs of their land to ensure the reasoned management of water resources (land irrigation), preserve biodiversity and limit the use of crop treatment products.
Throughout the year, Elior selects produce that is in season across France, such as cherries in June, melons in July, melons in August, Clémentine de Corse in December and kiwis from l’Adour in March.
This commitment is part of the Elior Group Positive Foodprint Plan. One of the objectives of this plan is that the Group’s 10 major ingredients meet sustainable and local sourcing criteria by 2025.