Phuket Hotels Turn To Local Farms
The sustainable farm-to-table trend for hotels is now hitting the island mainstream. Given Phuket’s agricultural heritage, the connection to the land is a natural evolution from the days when luxury hotels touted imported products from abroad.
At the InterContinental Resort Phuket, Executive Chef Marco Turatti has partnered with island establishment Toltec Farms in Mai Khao to produce a steady stream of microgreens, edible flowers, and mainstream products like tomatoes. Entrepreneur Pearl Maneechot operates Toltec, which is increasing its supply of local produce to hotels and restaurants.
Some of the key benefits of going local is creating a sustainable footprint with lower fuel and materials consumption for transport, creating jobs for the community, and giving diversity to chefs in hotels. They can now be more creative and bin the same boring hotel menus to offer more choice and special items that elevate the dining experience? Club sandwiches could be headed off the deep end. You can’t tell me Chefs love to cook the same thing day in and day out.
But even more important is lower food cost for hotels and restaurants and that’s the real kicker.
InterContinental works with Toltec and also brings certain cooler-weather items from Chiang Mai. They now source over 50% of produce locally and aim to increase this to over 80%.
Interestingly the nearby cooler areas of Phang Nga are now emerging as likely premium local produce areas for both Phuket and Khao Lak hotels.
Despite the downturn, there are some strong positives of Phuket hotels taking the pandemic as a chance to change their playbooks.
Check out a brief video talk with Marco Turatti and Pearl Maneechot: