A MANIFESTO FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
In 2017, when we founded LOCA, both of us had butterflies in our stomachs and lots of dreams and visions in our heads. We still have, but since then, we have finally laid down the mindset behind our motivation to set out on this long journey together. Our many thoughts and visions for sustainable gastronomy have now been boiled down to the 'LOCA Manifesto'. The manifesto is our bid for the sustainable gastronomy of the future. This is our proposal for how we, across world goals and national borders, through taste and the joy of food, can create positive changes in the gastronomic world.
Around the world, the food industry has long contributed to man-made problems, and the time has come for gastronomy to become part of the solution to the world's major problems concerning the climate, the environment, inequality, poverty, and hunger.
CHANGE STARTS WITH PEOPLE
The way we see it, sustainability is not only a matter of choosing the right ingredients, following the seasons, and minimizing food waste. For us, human sustainability is an equally important part of what we stand for. Therefore, our LOCA Manifesto is also centred on the working conditions for the people behind the great culinary experiences in our restaurants and canteens. Every day, they create the taste, the vibe, and the joy. They are the heart of what we do. Therefore, the right kind of people are essential for our business. We owe it to them to treat them with good care. This is more urgent than ever before. Globally, the restaurant industry is affected by a historically large shortage of hands, both on the floor and in the kitchen. The recruitment issue poses a huge problem for the entire industry, and the industry only has itself to blame. If we, as an industry, want to attract and retain the right people, we must weed out the obsolete work culture that is scaring people away from our industry.
With our Manifesto, we want to take the lead and do our part in the fight against poor work culture, lack of diversity, and inequality – all the way from farm to table. We don’t just say it. We mean it – and we act on it. We have initiated long-term further education courses for several of our employees. We have initiated well-being surveys for all our staff, and in connection with the WHO's 'Mental Health Day' in October, we have arranged workshops on mental health across our businesses. In addition, we are now in the process of bringing together our colleagues in the industry to jointly create better wages, training and working conditions for the employees. Everyone is short of labour, and together, we must join forces to make the restaurant industry a place where people want to join in – and stay.
WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY
The development and growth enjoyed by the world’s richest countries has come at a high price. It has led to huge CO2 emissions that have caused the global temperature to rise at a faster rate than ever before. The ice caps are melting, the oceans are dying, and more than ever, fertile lands are becoming barren and uninhabitable. These consequences hit the world’s poorest nations the hardest, and we must reverse that. We will do our part by seeking international partnerships and collaborators who can contribute to economic growth, less inequality, and gender equality in the world's poorest countries. Among other things, we have entered a collaboration with Plan International (PlanBørnefonden in Denmark). For every full-time employee we employ at LOCA Gruppen, we will sponsor a vulnerable child in one of the world’s poorest countries.
We hope that you will welcome our Manifesto as our contribution to a green and positive transition in the industry. We know that we are far from the finish line, but at least we have now embarked on the long journey.
If you have ideas or initiatives that can contribute to better practices in sustainable gastronomy, we would love to hear from you.
Dorte, Merete, and the rest of LOCA Gruppen