Sitting down to a meal of tender spring lamb, juicy beef steak, fresh eggs from a farm and fruit and vegetables straight out of the garden, is all part of the increasingly popular ‘paddock to plate’ experience. A growing trend in cuisine of not only having fresh produce, but of full transparency in where that food came from and knowing how it was farmed.
'Foodies' and tourists alike dine for the experience. For visitors to an area, part of the experience is sampling the local cuisine. But there are benefits for the hospitality industry too. Having a relationship with an independent supplier gives an establishment a unique selling point locally, thus becoming even more of a destination venue. Selling food that is responsibly sourced also enables many restaurants to charge a premium, which can enhance profit margins.
The Australian paddock to plate experience is unique because it not only offers great food and wine, but also an insight into local culinary tradition. The beautiful flavours of Australia don't just bring international tourists in their droves, but also a passionate local audience.
Many Aussie chefs value the paddock to plate experience because of its focus on sustainability and responsibility. They believe in eating meat from happy, healthy animals that graze outdoors in fresh air and sunshine, and harvesting fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs from their own or local gardens.
It may seem like a relatively new trend for the mainstream. It wasn't that long ago that caring about how your meat was farmed, or the sprays used on your fruit, were the ideals of a niche audience. And yet now the news is filled with bans on caged hens and milk producers with mobile milking sheds.
From cow massaging machines to heated pig pens farmers looking to develop high quality produce the tools to make this possible are becoming increasingly accessible.
But getting carefully tended produce to the consumers provides its own unique challenges. As an independent supplier you have to get your produce from the paddock to the plate as quickly and as fresh as possible.
Whether you offer mail order meat direct to your customer's doorstep, or supply restaurants and hotels, you're likely to be in charge of delivery. The total time between leaving your cold store and getting into the fridge may be the difference between an A grade culinary experience and a bad taste being left in the mouth.
One of the many options available to decrease this risk is to include chill retainers in the delivery box or crate. Frozen ice packs may seem like the obvious answer but there are a number of downsides to some of them.
Some ice packs are heavy and if your chosen delivery method is post then extra weight means extra shipping costs. Some may even produce condensation as they defrost so you end up with water leeching into the products it's being transported with. This can mean damp packaging and if you're using unsealed cardboard this can lead to breakages and spillages.
A great alternative to ice is Thermogard.
Thermogard is filled with a special frozen gel that does not condensate during thawing as much as normal ice does. Thermogard also remains at a more consistent temperature than ice and achieves colder freezing temperatures. Thermogard is re-useable and very economical, meaning your bottom line is safe from being eroded away.
If you're looking to make the most of the paddock to plate movement, and you want your amazing produce to reach customers in an even better condition then try out Thermogard and contact us today!