Cinnamon Grand organises seminar for suppliers on sustainable goods and services

Tuesday, 8 October 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Sustainability Division and the Compliance, Health and Safety Division of Cinnamon Grand Colombo organised a seminar on ‘food safety delivery standards and the role of suppliers in producing sustainable goods and services’, for the hotel’s stakeholders. The seminar, aligned with this year’s theme for World Tourism Day 2013, being ‘tourism and water’, saw over fifty two stakeholders, who deal with Cinnamon Grand’s Purchasing and Receiving Department and Stores attend. The focus was on the importance of producing sustainable products and services whilst ensuring food hygiene and food safety, in keeping with the hotel’s commitment to being a sustainable corporate entity. It was aligned with Cinnamon Grand’s precept that sustainability is not just a buzz word but at the heart of all the hotel’s operations. Guest speakers at the event were the National Water Supply and Drainage Board’s Corporate Communications Officer Sarathchandra Mutubanda and Business Manager, Systems and Services Certification at SGS Lanka Limited, Sumanasiri Batuwita. Stakeholders, mainly suppliers were encouraged to join forces with Cinnamon Grand in a mutual journey towards being environmentally conscious and sustainable. Thereby, the speakers focused on creating awareness on the role of suppliers in ensuring hygiene and safety standards while highlighting the importance of running businesses that are conscious of their water footprint. An information booklet in this regard was also distributed amongst attendees, to create awareness on the topics discussed. Mutubanda commended Cinnamon Grand for its sincere dedication to sustainable practices, while urging the audience to embrace such practices founded on the tenets of reduce, reuse and recycle. He underlined the importance of using sustainable sourcing practices which reduce energy, water usage and waste as well as give back to the environment as ultimately the health of our population depends on the health of the planet. He further stressed the vital importance of being aware of water usage in the process including the production, storage and transportation of food, urging all those present to make a conscious effort to reduce their water print, as water, is a scarce resource. He warned of a dire future derived from an irresponsible present, where generations to come will suffer without the life- line that is water. He emphasised that clean water is essential for life, but most people the world over don’t consciously think about water usage, be it for drinking, food preparation or sanitation. Mutubanda pointed out that millions of people die each year, most of them children, from largely preventable diseases caused by a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation. This he forecasted to have the potential to become a massive global crisis in time to come, if not acknowledged immediately. He called on all present to make a change, beginning with more efficient management of water resources. SGS Lanka Limited Batuwita elaborated the imperative nature of good hygiene in the supply chain, informing that consumers are taking unprecedented interest in the way food is produced, processed and marketed, and are increasingly calling for industries, corporates and authorities to accept greater responsibility for food safety and consumer protection. In this light it becomes absolutely essential that all those involved with the process of food production from field to fork are acutely aware of their responsibility in ensuring the highest of hygiene and safety standards. He educated those present on the importance of delivering hygienic products to the hotel, as it is the starting point of the hotel’s internal food chain, stressing that personal hygiene of all those involved in the process plays a pivotal role, as well as the need to have knowledge of how food contamination occurs. Cinnamon Grand’s Manager, Compliance, Health and Safety, Rajitha Amarasinghe said at the seminar, “Food hygiene, safety and quality are our top priorities. We ensure that all food served at the hotel consistently meets the highest quality and safety standards – from the time it is grown, harvested or caught to when it is put into a dish served in one of our restaurants. We have stringent audit processes that we enforce throughout our supply chain, so that all suppliers will reach if not surpass the highest of benchmarks.” Cinnamon Grand’s Manager of Marketing Communications and Sustainability, Tharika Goonathilake added, “This seminar was planned for our stakeholder in line with this year’s World Tourism Day theme, being that of Water and Tourism. As a key player in the hospitality industry as well as a corporate with a conscience, we feel a sense of duty to create awareness and encourage our stakeholders to join us in a journey towards a more sustainable tomorrow.” She added, “Our suppliers are the backbone of our business being one that deals inseparably with the process of food production, from the field to folk. It is therefore imperative that our suppliers are informed, educated and aware so as to ensure the highest standards of hygiene, safety, quality and sustainability in line with Cinnamon Grand’s standards.