French people are paying more and more attention to the impact of their food on the planet and on their health, this can be seen in particular with the increase in purchases of organic products. Yet what do we know about our environmental impact when we eat outside? As a consumer, it is rather difficult to identify restaurants committed to a sustainable approach. For their side, restaurants and marketeers suffer from a lack of time and financial resources to approach quality local producers, because no network exists to facilitate links between producers and restaurants. However, according to a Harris Interactive study for Metro in 2019, 60% of restaurants are convinced that they have some responsibility for sustainable development.
This is what motivated the creation of Écotable, launched in January 2019 with two objectives: give French consumers more transparency as to the practices of their restaurants and support restaurants towards a more sustainable approach.
The project was built with two structures: a company that identifies, values and supports restaurants wishing to engage in an eco-responsible approach. And an associative part which brings together the actors of sustainable catering, from production to consumption.
Écotable references eco-responsible restaurants thanks to a list of precise criteria taking into account the entire environmental approach. A questionnaire and then an audit are carried out, based on eight themes: supply, menu, health, recycling & waste, communication, natural resources, ethics & social, non-food products. The restaurant is therefore awarded one of the three certifications defined by the association, for a period of one year.
“For the first level, the cuisine must be homemade, in season, there must be at least a vegetarian choice, 15% of the products used must be organic or from local producers, there must be selective sorting. The eggs must not come from caged chicken farms. For the second level, we go to 30% organic, banish plastic straws and reduce plastic as much as possible in general, communicate about our commitment and train staff. Finally, for the third level, restaurants must not have endangered species on the menu, in particular concerning fish, reach 50% organic and develop their bio-waste ",details the president of Écotable, Fanny Giansetto.
There are badges to identify, for example, “100% vegetarian”, “100% organic” or even “locavore” restaurants, allowing everyone to choose a restaurant according to their environmental practices.
Ecotable does not stop to an audit and referencing process, Écotable also allows the restaurant owner to join a real community by benefiting from a directory of service providers engaged in sustainable development: organic farms, waste recovery companies or even fight against waste. Meetings between restaurants, service providers and consumers are organized in order to share good practices.
Finally, the company offers tailor-made support, achievable from the creation of the concept to deployment, or even to implement new actions.
Today, around 100 restaurants have joined the initiative throughout France. With more than 175,000 restaurants in France, Écotable intends to extend its approach to the whole territory in order to respond effectively to the need to eat better.
Written by Louise Galipaud, volontaire LFC - Juin 2020.
Last modification : 15 Jun 2020.
The Écotable referencing labels eco-responsible restaurants thanks to a list of precise criteria taking into account the entire environmental approach.