Food made good – helping the UAE restaurant industry prepare for COP28 and beyond

Published on February 6, 2023

What does “good” look like when it comes to sustainability in the restaurant industry?  This is exactly what the Sustainable Restaurant Association (UK) have been developing for over ten years, resulting in the Food Made Good (FMG) framework, a holistic overview of sourcing, society and the environment. Thanks to the effort of prominent UAE-based restaurant sustainability advocates, the FMG framework is now accessible for all UAE restaurants wanting to get started on their sustainability journey.

As the largest internationally-recognised sustainability programme for food service, Food Made Good provides alignment with global guidelines such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in addition to supporting UAE national strategies for tourism, hospitality and food security. Food Made Good will serve to provide clarity around sustainability for the UAE restaurant industry assisting with tools and resources that support implementation.

The value of Food Made Good begins with a free self-assessment tool that broadly captures everything a restaurant may already be doing well such as championing local sustainable produce or waste segregation, in addition to areas where there may be opportunities to think differently. More than generating a report card, completion of 50 questions will enable a restaurant to identify actions that can result in improved economic, social and environmental impacts. 

Restaurants are then able to join the largest globally-recognised sustainability accreditation to further their sustainability commitment through the Food Made Good Global Rating, a 360-degree independent audit that benchmarks against thousands of other food service businesses, enabling specific goal setting and validating work through a 1, 2 or 3-star global certification.  Since 2013, The World’s 50 Best Sustainable Restaurant Award have been assessed using this framework with recent winners including Aponiente, Boragó, Schloss Schauenstein and Azurmendi.  

Understanding what sustainability is and its relevance within the restaurant industry is a challenging road to navigate for even the most experienced industry professional.  With COP28 being the most important event on the 2023 Dubai calendar, tourism and hospitality will play a crucial role, creating a sense of urgency for restaurant operators to support national commitments and ‘walk the talk’. Both the Food Made Good 50 Tool and the Food Made Good Global Rating offer timely support to the industry to prepare for the global climate action event.

Starting with Gulfood, the largest annual food and beverage event in the UAE, Food Made Good will be engaging with industry members through a number of advocacy activities.  In addition, one of their primary activities will be seeking interest from restaurants who would like to put their credentials to the test with the Food Made Good rating.  The certification provides the additional opportunity for committed operators to send a clear signal to customers, suppliers, staff and the industry at large, that sustainability is at the core of their business. 

“The biggest problem with sustainability is the “how-to” part.  We want to help the UAE restaurant industry create tangible, long-lasting value in their business.” Keary Shandler

“I receive requests for help on a daily basis.  The road to a more sustainable business can take different routes and Food Made Good provides clarity and many of the answers restauranteurs are looking for.” Omar Shihab

Omar Shihab and Keary Shandler are responsible for independently spending over a year researching and evaluating dozens of tools, frameworks and resources used all over the world in the restaurant industry. In their own jurisdictions, they are dedicated advocates of sustainability holding a strong appreciation for the UAE hospitality journey. Together, they share a deep respect for provenance and people and a desire to contribute to making sustainability an integral part of the UAE’s DNA through partnerships and collaborations. It is for these reasons, they joined forces and worked with the Sustainable Restaurant Association to bring Food Made Good to the UAE.  

Chefs and restaurateurs all over the world are in a unique position to influence what and how we eat, for the better. We’re really excited that through progressive industry professionals Keary and Omar we’re able to bring the Food Made Good Standard, the world’s most comprehensive sustainability certification to UAE. We can’t wait to start working together for a better food future across the region.” Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Managing Director, The Sustainable Restaurant Association

More information including success stories and insights about Food Made Good can be found at Alternatively, contact Omar or Keary directly: ,

Related Posts