Sourcing quality foods sustainably should be top of the agenda, says leading Dubai chef


A European Union and French Dairy Board sponsored discussion has highlighted the need to hold suppliers accountable and underscored the importance of educating the public about food sustainability 

Chef Romain Castet, Executive Pastry Chef, Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The importance of sourcing sustainably and enhancing excellent customer relations to reduce waste and maintain profitability was recently highlighted during a roundtable discussion in Dubai, organised by the French Dairy Board and the European Union.

Speaking at the event, which forms part of a campaign to showcase the measures implemented by the French dairy sector to ensure the sustainable production of exports, Chef Romain Castet, Executive Pastry Chef, Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk, explained the importance of holding suppliers to account.

“French cream produces one of the best results. However, to make its use as sustainable as possible, we look to French dairy companies that have a sustainable mandate as part of their business ethos. We challenge suppliers in terms of who is producing the product, why and how.” 

Throughout the event, the group focused on topics with the underlying message of influencing and teaching others the need to adopt a sustainable approach to food sourcing while also highlighting the importance of communicating with guests to avoid unnecessary waste.

“If I fill my display and not all products are sold, not only does this create waste, it also impacts the bottom line. The contact I have with the customer is therefore so important. For example, if a product is not available because we want to avoid waste, I can explain this, and the customer often understands the reasons why,” said Castet.

“However, if the customer is a regular, I can ask them to let me know when they’ll next be in, either by text or email; I can then make sure it’s available. This is the perfect scenario as there’s no waste, and it becomes more sustainable. However, this is only possible if you’re in contact with the guest and developing that relationship,” he added.

Education and awareness of the value of milk and dairy products within France are at the campaign’s core, with four critical areas of the supply chain covered, including economic & social, food safety, food nutrition, and responsible production (animal welfare and the environment). 

Marie-Laure Martin of the French Dairy Board said: “French cream are renowned around the world for their quality and enhancing flavours in almost any recipe which is made at home or in a restaurant by professional chefs. However, it is also essential for us to extol the processes and procedures the dairy sector has undertaken to ensure these products are sustainably made.

“French cream follows strict production rules, so despite being exported, this high-quality product is still sustainable,” she added.