'Eat Locally, Think Globally' An Investigation into the Perceptions and the Impacts of Hospitality Professionals on the Development of Sustainable Food and Drink Culture in Edinburgh and East Lothian
(2014) 'Eat Locally, Think Globally' An Investigation into the Perceptions and the Impacts of Hospitality Professionals on the Development of Sustainable Food and Drink Culture in Edinburgh and East Lothian, no. 69.
This paper outlines the research process that was carried out to investigate the development of sustainable food and drink culture in Edinburgh and East Lothian. Numerous research studies on the topic of sustainable development and its impacts have been carried out in the past, however, none of the previous research has focused on the perceptions of hospitality professionals in the context of food and drink in this region. Hence, the key focus of this research is to explore hospitality professionals' understanding of sustainable food and drink practices, examine the reasons why they choose to buy sustainable products and to find out how the development of sustainable food and drink culture has impacted upon various market segments within the hospitality industry. In order to meet aims and objectives the screening of published literature and the collection of primary data was required for this particular project. Therefore, for the purpose of this study 9 interviews were conducted with professionals from the food and drink industry, all of whom had at least 5 years of relevant work experience. Key findings showcased that the growth of sustainable food and drink culture in Edinburgh and East Lothian was not as obvious as originally anticipated. Further, it was evident that both scholars and consumers are highly divided on the topic of sustainable consumption. While some believe eating organic or locally sourced is more beneficial in terms of flavour, nutritional content and overall impact towards the environment, others argue that sustainable production, in particular organic foods, are in no way superior to the conventionally grown, especially considering the price premium. Finally, it was witnessed that sustainable sourcing was mainly implemented in the high calibre restaurants, where increasing consumer demand for locally sourced and organic products was dictating the trend.