River Cottage rated most sustainable restaurant in UK

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage restaurants have been rated the most sustainable in the UK, thanks in part to its waste reduction initiatives.

The River Cottage chain was awarded the accolade by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), with waste management scoring top marks on its star rating system.

The chain now recycles all its waste including food and waste oil, which is turned into biofuel which is then used by the local community college. Food preparation waste is turned into compost that is then used to grow vegetables.

Meanwhile, customers are offered ‘doggy’ bags to take home unfinished food to further limit waste. Despite edie contacting River Cottage several times for comment on its waste strategies, no response was forthcoming.

The SRA’s star rating system will be included in a number of restaurant guides from later this year in a bid to encourage more catering businesses to become more sustainable.

To meet the criteria restaurants must provide evidence of sustainable food sourcing, waste reduction, energy management and local community engagement. River Cottage gained high sustainability scores across all categories, and was awarded a three star sustainability champion star rating by the SRA.

SRA’s account manager, George Clark, said the rating reflected River Cottage’s commitment to sustainability across the board.

He said: “River Cottage doesn’t just talk about sustainability, it practices it too and its very high score reflects this.

The SRA is working with more than 600 restaurants across the UK. It expects to rate more than 300 of these by the end of this year.

Carys Matthews

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