Part of practicing sustainable tourism is maximizing the localization of food supply chains. This includes partnering with local suppliers and supporting local products and services and including their products and/or services as part of tourism business offerings. Hotels, restaurants and other tourism businesses can also opt to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables. This not only lessens emissions from transporting the goods; it can also reduce waste generated from packaging.
In order for more tourism businesses to be engaged in more “farm to table” activities, the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI), through the Transforming Tourism Value Chains (TVC) project, collaborated with International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) and Humane Society International (HSI) to conduct a webinar on this topic. The online training, “Sustainable Food Farms for Hotels & Restaurants” took place via Zoom on September 22, 2021. The training, attended by 26 participants from the tourism field, promoted nutrition-sensitive agriculture and sustainable food value chains through simple food production that prioritizes local vegetables and food products.
Providing the opening remarks was Project Officer Kiko Velhagen of PCEPSDI, who gave a brief introduction to the TVC project. He shared how the training supported the Roadmap for Low Carbon and Resource Efficient Tourism in the Philippines through sustainable food value chains, specifically introducing the concept of sustainability in food and strengthening sustainable procurement policies.
The online training was moderated by Ms. Joanna Dalusag, Program Associate for Food Security and Resilient Livelihoods at IIRR. It was able to cover topics through a series of interactive sessions such as lectures, trivia games, and video presentations. Ms. Shiela Anunciado, Program Officer for Agriculture, discussed topics from preparatory activities for bio-intensive gardens (BIG), seed and seedling management, crop and pest management, to proper harvesting of crops.
A segment on the benefits of using indigenous vegetables was also prepared by HSI. This included showing a recipe video using indigenous vegetables, recorded by Chef Marie Isabelle Tomas, HSI Plant-based Chef, and Plant-based Recipe Developer and Chef of Vegano Manila. Mr. Jake Brandon Andal, RND, HSI Plant-based Nutritionist and Public Relations Officer of the Philippine Society of Nutritionists-Dietitians, Inc., also gave a lecture on the nutritional benefits of using such vegetables.
After a lively open discussion with the participants, the organizers encouraged businesses to submit their action plans in developing their “food farms”, in order to be qualified to be part of a possible one-year “Farm to Table” program in 2022, wherein pilot businesses will receive free technical assistance in building their own small gardens from which to procure fruits and vegetables. Participants were also encouraged to post photos of their own food farms or any preparatory activities for their farms, in order to inspire not just tourism businesses but also citizens as well in growing their own food supply.
As a final message to the participants, Ms. Emilita M. Oro, Country Director of IIRR, emphasized that the hospitality industry can play a significant role in promoting good nutrition and good food. She encouraged everyone to join the #gulayan and #GoodFood movement for the sake of both our health and the environment.
For any concerns regarding this event, please contact:
Kiko Velhagen, Project Officer
Andrea Go, Project Assistant