Author: Darren Deadman, Culinary Director at Searcys

It has been over a year since we first announced our sustainability pledges, and as we start the new decade, we would love to share an update on our journey so far. To start 2020 on a high, we are proudly showing off our newest badge of honour, as we have just received a three-star Food Made Good accreditation from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. This journey, however, wouldn’t be possible without the support of the partners that share our ethos and our commitment in serving customers food and drink that are good in every way – delicious, ethical and sustainable. Two of these key relationships are Extract Coffee Roasters, a sustainable roaster based in Bristol, and Beyond Food, a social enterprise working with those at risk of homelessness.

Sustainability is at the heart of Searcys. As a British catering company and a restauranteur with a proud tradition of creating memorable moments for our guests, we’ve pledged to go back to our roots to champion the best Britain has to offer, utilising local and seasonal ingredients and reducing waste wherever possible.

We are proud of the changes we have made to our supply chain, the producers we work with and the relationships we have built with them. As an SRA member, we are proud to work with Extract Coffee Roasters, with all Searcys venues using Extract to blend our own Searcys coffee, which in turn supports local coffee farmers. Also in partnership with Extract, every 1p per cup sold in our cafés and restaurants will go to a support fund for our coffee growers. Our in-house blend uses 60% Project Peru, directly sourced from an organic cooperative of smallholders, and the other 40% is Colombian Marianela, from a farm run by a pioneering family of agronomists. Extract Coffee themselves run off 90% renewable electricity, with 100% of the coffee waste recycled into bio-methane and bio-fertiliser.

Another partnership we are pleased to support is the social enterprise Beyond Food, which works with those at risk of homelessness. Also an SRA member, Beyond Food provides them with skills and support to receive work within the hospitality industry. These past two years, we have raised funds across our venues as part of Christmas campaigns, and have also helped to support and work with apprentices within the Beyond Food scheme.

Moving into 2020, through our partnerships, provenance trips and work with our producers, we aim to continue to strengthen our pledges to sustainability and low waste across the UK, along with developing the use and understanding of the high-quality produce we use in our venues. We hope to continue to deliver a high standard of service, catering and hospitality to our customers, and in turn, inspire others to also follow suit. We know there is lots to do and we are working on our 2020 plans. So, watch this space.