By Food Made Good Hong Kong
The distance used to define what is considered ‘local’ largely depends on who is applying the term, what their overall goals are and where they are located. It is a term that is steeped in regional context. It is often used in regions of the world where farmers are reachable and you can simply pop down to pick up eggs, fruit and veg, or other produce. We have seen individuals circumscribe a challenging 10 and 30 miles (i.e. 16 or 48km) from their home or you may have heard of the popular 100 mile diet (i.e. 161km). If we look to the UK’s Sustainable Restaurant Association, businesses outside of London apply a 50 mile radius (i.e. 80km) whereas businesses inside London apply 100 miles. Considering not a lot of food is grown in the dense urban environment it makes sense to increase the local food distance based on the availability of local production. Using political boundaries such as province, state and country borders is also common and becomes particularly useful for government regulations on local food labelling. Caution is needed when using this method, however, just as large territories can result in increased food miles and more complex supply chains, small territories can be too restrictive to source much food at all.
At Food Made Good Hong Kong we consider the territory of Hong Kong as local but have extended a 500km radius around the SAR and accept it as an appropriate local food distance when doing our Ratings. We considered both current and potential food production in the region and listened to our members’ experience in local food sourcing. By sourcing food from within 500km we believe that greater transparency can be achieved if we keep our supply chains short and our relationships with our food producers strong. Our focus is to support local livelihoods and reduce the environmental impact of transport, haulage, and storage considering Hong Kong imports nearly 95% of its food from all corners of the globe. You can easily check if a farm is located within 500km from Hong Kong by using the ‘measure distance’ function in Google Maps.
Photo by Markus Winkler
Our local and regional map shows the extent of our 500km radius and already includes a few local and regional farms as well as a list of suppliers and farm networks to help get you started. As we grow as an organization so will the list of sustainable food producers. Please let us know if we can add any of your favourite farms to the list.
Connecting restaurants, hotels and other food services with quality food products is a crucial component to the success in achieving a more resilient and sustainable food system. To find out more our Members can check out our “How to Source Locally” toolkit in the resources section of the community page, and if you missed it, our Sustainable Breakfast Series on local and seasonal with Dr. Daisy Tam is recorded and highlights some interesting facts around food security.