Poco scored highly and came out number one in our Food Made Good Sustainability Rating. Read on to hear all about the incredible initiatives that helped Poco Tapas Bar win big this year.
Poco, headed by Ben Pryor, Jen Best and Eco-Chef Tom Hunt, have been striving to make the connection between farm and fork ever closer, devising ever tastier and more inventive ways of keeping food on the plate and out of the bin.
The majority of their ingredients are purchased directly from small producers and community farms within 50 miles of the restaurant. To ensure quality and a personal connection they visit their suppliers regularly to maintain a personal connection. Restaurant staff also can come on these visits.
Suppliers are invited to attend staff meetings so the team can meet them and learn more about what they do. They profile their suppliers in-house on their blackboard and menu with the distance the suppliers are.
Poco continue to up the quantity, quality and variety of amazing veg on the menu.
Two thirds of dishes at Poco celebrate vegetables while the meaty dishes feature fewer intensive species and cuts like muntjac deer and pig’s head terrine.
The farm they use is not organic certified as their abattoir is not organic. However, this is because the nearest organic abattoir is too far away and this would distress the animals far more. This shows a higher concern for animal welfare beyond a certification tick-box.
There’s no such thing as waste in the Poco kitchen which follows Tom Hunt’s Root to Fruit Sustainability philosophy, valuing food in it’s entirety. If the kitchen has made full use of an ingredient then it’s passed to the bar, and vice versa. From fruit peels to pea skins, jams, juices, infusions and purees mean practically nothing ends up in the compost bin.
Both the bar and kitchen work in harmony to look to use any waste created in the restaurant in an innovative way. By monitoring what is going in their ‘plate waste’ bin, looking for trends and reacting accordingly, Poco keeps waste to a minimum.
To combat the issue of a lack of internal promotion potential, they have been working on ways to include personal passions of staff. One of these has been ‘Community engagement and events organiser’ who liaises with suppliers and the local community.
Energy usage is reported directly to staff in their meetings to engage everyone to collectively set reduction targets and share ideas.
They even completed a full analysis of every single item that came into the restaurant and whether there was a more sustainable alternative – now only pens and sponges are the difficult. They even send their pens to be recycled by a specialist facility.