A lot of food companies talk about supporting local food. At Bon Appétit, we’ve been doing it since long before it was trendy. Our Local Food page explains why.
We launched our Farm to Fork program in 1999. Since then, we’ve required our chefs to source at least 20 percent of their ingredients from small, owner-operated farms, ranches, and artisan producers within 150 miles of their kitchens.
By buying directly from farmers, we have much more control over what types of agriculture we are supporting. We seek out true family farms where the owners live on or nearby the land, work it themselves and therefore are conscientious stewards, who don’t rely on pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified seeds. We honor their ingredients by preparing and serving them within 48 hours of harvest.
Bon Appétit now spends tens of millions of dollars annually with our more than 1,200 Farm to Fork partners. (We’ve also helped start dozens of farms on our university and corporate campuses, which often become Farm to Fork partners!) In 2011, we defined a new mid-size category for regional meat producers, and also launched a companion seafood program, called Fish to Fork.
We believe supporting local food is the best bet for creating a more resilient, healthy, and sustainable food system that will benefit all Americans, not just our customers.