Our Bigger Peach Promise, No 4 – We use seasonal fruit and veg, celebrate best of British

 

To us, it’s always been about provenance. Working with British farmers and producers who share our values, and when we do buy from overseas, sourcing quality, environmentally-friendly ingredients.

It’s always been a passion for all of us in Peach, using the best British produce that is quality and consistent, across a group of 19 pubs. Buying local becomes challenging, and whilst some local farmers are exceptional, others aren’t. Whether it be slow grown beef steaks, the first British asparagus or native lobster, we only source what we’re happy to eat ourselves.

So what we do is choose farmers, producers and wholesaler suppliers with similar ethics and forge longterm partnerships. 

All our meat comes direct from Aubrey Allen for many reasons. Not only are they the best catering butcher in Britain bar none, with whom we’ve had a partnership and history with since before Peach was founded. (Russell Allen is a personal friend, and drinking buddy of many of the Peach team from Leamington). Not only does he teach us as much about great restaurants as we teach him, but his methods are the best in Britain and, most importantly, Aubrey Allen are as passionate about ethical animal farming and the provenance of meat as we are. From slow-grown British beef from specific farms in Scotland, the Lakes and the West Country to free-range pork only from Jimmy Butler’s farm in Suffolk, where the pigs are as happy as you can find, wild venison and lamb from Cornish farms. No one does sustainability and ethics quite like them. Learn more over on their website.

For fish, we work with Direct Seafood – one of the big boys in fish in the UK, with an underlying passion to source the best sustainable fish in Britain. I always think fish wholesaling is literally the most challenging game in town. Then add our requirement that everything is ethical, sustainable and fresh fresh. We buy a lot, so they will go the extra (nautical) mile, and we really respect their commitment to sustainability.

Reynolds do our fruit and vegetables. English and European, a challenging area to get right. Over the years we tried going local, but the quality we received over a year just didn’t work. And, to make the prices work for you, the farmers must deliver efficiently several tons of produce every few days to each wholesale depot, who then choose the best for all their customers. And keep choosing every week for the whole year. Together we choose some of the key growers, and influence their choice for all their customers. Such as helping them choose the English asparagus and strawberry farm. And when it comes to choosing tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers, we ensure we source from farms that use the European Winter sun, keeping sustainability in mind.

There’s more to do with European vegetables, there’s always more to do. At Peach, our guests consume 75% British veg, 20% European and 5% global.  The European supply chains are incredibly efficient now, and when Winter tomatoes are grown from natural sunlight without heating it becomes relatively efficient compared to growing in the UK. In Winter we fill our menu with root vegetables all winter, and will continue to create menus, based on what our guests will enjoy and what it’s season.

When it comes to cheese, we look to artisan British cheeses where we can, from Godminster to Rutland Red, British blues and goats’ cheese – our cheeses are ripe and will also move seasonally.

But it doesn’t stop. Please help us. Email  MakinglifePeachy@peachpubs.com to suggest a new way forward.  We’re always reviewing where our ingredients come from, and how together we can become more sustainable.

Hamish Stoddart, Founder