PART 2: Regional ingredients: Organic food at Constance Hotels, Indian Ocean produce and sustainable farming projects
Part 2 of our interview with Bruno is designed around understanding where local produce in the Indian Ocean is sourced, and how Constance Hotels work with locals and suppliers to ensure top quality, local organic foods for their menus.
1. Question: We feel that tourism as a whole needs to be a sustainable project for all involved. We have heard about the Mozambique shrimp farm Qwehli, that supply what we call prawns. How important is organic regional produce to Constance Hotels?
We are very familiar with Black Qwelhi prawns which is a great product.The owners of the group come from Madagascar but the farm is actually in Mozambique. We would love to find on the local market more quality organic products, however for the moment it is still not very available and the majority of producers still haven’t made their “cultural revolution”.
2. Question: Is supporting regional food production projects in areas of under development important to Constance Hotels?
We do it naturally, as we are always looking for nice quality products from our regions. As soon as there is a project of this kind and if the product matches our expectations, we “play the game” and support the initiative. I regret however that this movement is still just starting in our region. I would like to see many more of these initiatives.
3. Question: As well as vanilla and shrimp – can you tell us what other ingredients you use from your Indian Ocean neighbours ?
In our resort Constance Tsarabanjina Lodge of Madagascar we are using almost exclusively local products. The quality of the fruits and vegetable is fantastic, as mass production agricultural methods have not really arrived in this part of the World yet. We get great quality stuff from small farmers.
A similar situation prevails as well in Seychelles, where we tend to work a lot with local growers, fishermen, etc… Sometimes we have people who come to the hotel with a few kilos of fruits, vegetable or herbs. If the quality is what we expect (and it usually is) we purchase it right away. Not always easy to manage but it’s our way to live in symbiosis with the local community.
However, these products are very difficult to import in Mauritius. It would not be economically viable and the sanitary permits are very difficult to obtain.
We are visiting Australia soon !! Our culinary team from Constance Belle Mare Plage will represent our hotels and Mauritius in the final of the MLA Black Box competition in Tasmania in May 2012. There will be around 30 teams competing and it is a great honour for us to be representing our company and our country !! The love story between Constance Hotels Experience and Australia has just started!
Read Part 1 of the interview here : The Food Experience – Constance Hotels Interview part 1
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