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The Rise of The Farm to Table Movement
The farm to table movement, also known as farm to fork or farm to plate, has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years. More and more people are questioning where their food comes from and choosing locally sourced, seasonal ingredients wherever they can. This passion for ethically sourced, locally grown ingredients is hugely important within the restaurant and catering industries, as well.
We are more aware of our community food systems than ever before and there’s a growing passion for environmentally friendly, ethical food production systems. And that’s where the farm to table movement comes in. This movement spans everything from the farm right to the table. It’s a way of describing a community food system where food production, processing, distribution and consumption are all integrated in a way that protects and improves the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of the local community.
Catering companies and restaurants alike are reflecting the popular preference for small-scale farming over big supply chains. Not only it this better for the environment, it also equates to fresher, tastier food that hasn’t travelled far at all.
Where did the farm to table movement come from?
When we think about what the farm to table movement really means, and where it began, it’s impossible to ignore its history. The movement first started as a backlash against the rise of processed, packaged goods that really took over the way we ate during the 1960s and 1970s.
It was around this time that the ‘hippie movement’ started to make some noise, championing local and organic food over less nutritious, packaged alternatives. A few years later, preferences for organic produce started to show via formal food structures. Pioneers like Alice Waters shot to fame with trailblazing restaurants like the legendary Chez Panisse grabbing the attention of diners. And just like that, the farm to table movement was born.
Farm to table in the events industry
Since the 1970s, the farm to table movement has gone from strength to strength. Today, consumers are more aware than ever of the importance of locally sourced, seasonal produce and their preferences are clear to see when we look at buying trends.
This passion for farm to table menus extends to events too. Event planners are taking care over the menus they choose and considering where the ingredients that make up those spectacularly fine dining dishes have originated from.
At Food Show, our passion for well-sourced, top quality ingredients is evident in our menus. Our seasonal menus hold true to our food philosophy …. that is to source high quality, fresh and seasonal produce, tracing its journey from farm to plate. The provenance of the produce we serve is vitally important and we firmly believe in the importance of eating seasonal, fresh produce; the flavour is beyond compare.
Farm to table dining at London restaurants
It’s not just catering companies like Food Show that are taking note of this growing trend. Several UK restaurants are also getting involved, one of which is Riverford at the Duke of Cambridge. This is the UK’s first fully certified organic pub and it’s also one of the most accessible farm to table restaurants in the UK. Here, diners can enjoy a wide array of delicious braises and stews, all of which are supplied by Guy Watson’s Devon farmland.
Daylesford is another great example of a London-based farm to table cafe where the emphasis is firmly on sustainability. There are four Daylesford farm shops and cafes in the capital, each of which serves produce from one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK.
The future of the farm to table movement
In light of recent attention on environmental sustainability, we think it’s safe to say that the farm to table movement isn’t going anywhere soon. In fact, Generation Z and Millennials are more aware of their responsibility to protect the planet than any of the generations that came before them. So it seems likely that the focus on natural, organic and sustainable cooking will only increase over the coming years. And, when you look at the stunning food that can be produced using just locally sourced, ethical and organic ingredients, you’ll be glad that this is a trend that seems to be sticking around.