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Banyan Tree rolls out sustainable food initiatives on Koh Samui

Banyan Tree
Images by Banyan Tree

While guests at the 5-star resort of Banyan Tree Samui enjoy exquisite dining and fine wines at its award-winning signature restaurant, Saffron,  they may yet be unaware of the current of care that flows beneath the surface, ensuring that maximum effort is made to prepare all dishes using ingredients sourced through the most rigorous sustainability guidelines.

Several years back, Banyan Tree Samui was recognised as a flagship of sustainability and eco-friendliness in Thailand when it was awarded the highest level of certification by global watchdog EarthCheck, the first hotel in the country to achieve this award.

And in 2024, the luxury resort — often better known for its pool villas with infinity pools and spectacular views — announced a series of initiatives that keep the sustainability ball moving forward.

Cage-Free Eggs

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In January 2024, just 2.75 percent of all eggs purchased by Banyan Tree Samui were classified as “cage-free”, indicating that they were sourced from free-range farms, as opposed to caged chickens. By May this year, that figure had leapt to more than two-thirds of the 17,402 eggs bought. Eggs from hens remain the most popular item in this category while the sourcing of cage-free quail eggs and duck eggs remains “a work in progress”, said Chef Rainer Roersch, the hotel’s Director of F&B and Cuisine.

Sustainable Seafood

Thailand’s fishing industry has undergone a radical rethink since it was issued a “yellow card” by the European Union in 2015, a warning that sanctions could be applied if the country did not sufficiently tackle illegal and unregulated fishing. To protect biodiversity and support a sustainable supply chain, Banyan Tree Samui has now introduced a policy to purchase only sustainable seafood that is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Sustainability Council. Both these standards are monitored by Bureau Veritas, the recognised world leader in testing, inspection and certification services.

While almost all seafood and fish are purchased locally on the tropical island, Banyan Tree Samui imports items such as salmon and snow fish. All 100 kilogrammes of salmon purchased on a monthly basis meet the requirements of the international agencies overseeing sustainable seafood practices.

Coffee Granules & Capsules

Guests at a 5-star hotel like Banyan Tree Samui expect nothing but the best, and the same goes for having a modern coffee machine in their rooms. All 88 pool villas at the resort are equipped with Nespresso machines, which means that housekeepers are constantly refilling and disposing of thousands of coffee capsules and the used granules. In collaboration with Nespresso, in October 2023 Banyan Tree Samui began recycling and upcycling the discarded coffee capsules. The aluminium is upcycled into everyday products such as bicycles, chairs, pens and window frames, as well as recycled coffee capsules. As for the coffee grains, they are recycled as compost fertiliser and renewable energy such as biofuel.

Banyan Global Foundation

In addition to ongoing “plastic-free” initiatives — phasing out the use of plastic bottles, straws, cutlery and garbage bags, for example— and providing its food waste to a local pig farm, this eco-friendly hotel is also involved in a plethora of local community projects on Koh Samui. It has provided scholarships to local children; funded the reconstruction of a nearby school damaged by a storm; held annual blood drives; and, during the pandemic, offered complimentary one-night stays to all local health workers. Much of the finance for these benevolent programmes comes from the Banyan Tree Global Foundation.

The Banyan Group has a longstanding commitment to sustainable practices, including numerous projects around the world concerning: waste management; water conservation; biodiversity; and a Climate Change project focused on green energy and waste-to-energy projects.

In 2019, the Banyan Tree Group (now the Banyan Group) implemented a Code of Conduct for suppliers to map a transparent supply chain for all its ingredients, and to promote socio-environmental practice. To date, more than 900 suppliers have registered worldwide.

Tags: Banyan Tree, Koh Samui, Sustainable food


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