Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

August 21, 2007 09:38 ET

From the Farm to the Fork: Fairmont Offers a Fresh New Take on Menus

Focus on sustainable cuisine goes brand wide

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 21, 2007) -

Attention Food / Business Editors:

Responding to guests' need to please their palates while also minding their health, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announces a brand wide commitment to offer menus that focus on what we can do for the earth, as well as the taste buds. The first hotel company to formally commit to using, wherever possible, sustainable, locally sourced and organically grown products as part of everyday food service operations, Fairmont takes the lead in this green revolution on a plate. As part of an ongoing process in which Fairmont will continuously assess where it can make a difference through responsible food purchasing practices, menus across the chain will reflect this focus on fresh cuisine by fall. This new initiative follows the move to eliminate all artificial trans fat from dining offerings earlier this year.

Fairmont's Green Partnership, the company's award-winning environmental program, encourages guests to think green when traveling and offering healthful and delicious menu choices that highlight organic wines, local purveyors and on-site herb gardens is a natural extension. Fairmont has taken the proactive step of reviewing its purchasing and food sourcing practices to see in which areas more sustainable choices can be incorporated, both at a hotel and a corporate level. For example, all hotels worldwide offer guests the choice of menu items prepared with organic eggs.

Consumers today are increasingly interested in where their food is sourced and how it is produced, and Fairmont menus will provide those sources by highlighting local, organic ingredients and the purveyors who produce them. Like-minded partners on a brand level currently include The Metropolitan Tea Company Ltd., North America's first member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, who have created a specially branded line called Tea at The Fairmont, served at all hotels. Tea at The Fairmont products are sourced through Fair Trade organizations (in the countries where available), and over the next two years, most of the line is phasing into organic production. Hotels must also offer organic or biodynamic wines from producers such as Bonterra Vineyards, the world's leading producer of wines made from certified organically grown grapes.

"Our guests are very savvy, experienced diners, and they also are becoming more conscious of how their consumer choices affect the planet," notes Serge Simard, Fairmont's Vice President, Food & Beverage. "While individual contributions certainly do make a difference, the actions of institutions often have a greater impact. Our new approach will make it easy for our guests to make individual, sustainable food choices as part of a global effort." He continues, "We want our guests to know that when they dine at Fairmont, not only can they count on the very best, freshest ingredients and a true experience of the destination through their culinary choices, there will always be a range of sustainable options for them to consider."

As Fairmont continues to evaluate areas where purchasing decisions can have impact, other options under consideration are a review of coffee sources, and a closer look at organic mini-bar options.

Fairmont hotels' culinary brigades commit to sourcing, wherever possible, menu items that are:

Local- Food grown or raised as close to hotels as possible, particularly in the season in which it's grown. "Food miles" refer to the distance a food item travels from the farm to its destination.

Organic- Items produced without the use of antibiotics, chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides, and which are certified by a third party organization, such as the USDA's National Organic Program, after rigorous examination.

Sustainable- Production enables the resources from which it was made to continue to be available for future generations. A sustainable product can be created repeatedly without generating negative environmental effects, without causing waste products to accumulate as pollution, and without compromising the well being of workers or communities.

Biodynamic- Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach. In addition to organic practices such as crop rotation and composting, biodynamics uses special plant, animal and mineral preparations and the rhythmic influences of the sun, moon, planets and stars to create a thriving agrarian ecosystem.

Fair Trade- Products that are Fair Trade Certified confirm that they were sourced from operations that emphasize fair prices, fair labor conditions, community development, and environmental sustainability. Fair Trade empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

In addition to highlighting these choices on menus, many Fairmont properties will also offer innovative guest experiences such as winemaker's dinners, Shop with the Chef excursions, cooking classes, and trips to the farms where guests can learn where the food is sourced. Meeting planners can also incorporate sustainable choices in their events through Eco-Meet, the company's environmentally friendly conferencing program by including local, seasonal and organically grown menu items and innovative eco-inspired meeting breaks.

With more than 51 distinctive hotels and 22,000 hotel rooms around the globe, Fairmont continues to lead by example with innovative environmental programs and an unwavering attitude to growing the movement of overall environmental stewardship. Under the innovative leadership of its corporate environmental affairs division and hotel-based Green Teams, 30,000 employees have taken on the role of environmental ambassadors helping to protect the habitat, resources and culture of the places where we, and our guests, work, live and play. For more information on Fairmont's environmental initiatives, visit www.fairmont.com/environment.

With the opening of the landmark Fairmont San Francisco in April 1907, one of the world's leading luxury hotel brands was born. For over a century, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has offered warm hospitality and timeless elegance in unforgettable locations. Throughout 2007, our 51 distinctive hotels in 12 countries, from fabled castles to secluded lodges and modern retreats, will celebrate a centennial of rich experiences and lasting memories. Committed to growing its portfolio of world-class hotels, which includes The Fairmont Banff Springs and London's Savoy, Fairmont will soon reflag four hotels in Kenya and anticipates the re-opening of New York's famed Plaza Hotel. Future Fairmont Hotels & Resorts also include locations in Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Vancouver and South Africa. Fairmont Raffles Hotels International operates over 120 hotels worldwide under the Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel and Delta brands, as well as vacation ownership properties managed by Fairmont Heritage Place. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com.

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