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CORNWALL - Trading with the locals

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sugar

There was the occasion in Bangalore when the hotel PR manager took our reporter to look at a local sugar producer. He waxed lyrically about the quality, texture, colour and taste. This was cane-based 'ambrosia'. When asked if his hotel used this sugar he replied 'no, we use mass-produced sugar so that we can have it branded'. This really made a total nonsense of looking at the local producer and spoke volumes about the hotel in question.

It is just the same here, more and more hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and cafes look towards the cheapest raw ingredients in order to minimise costs regardless of the effect it has on the flavour of the final dish. Here at Sphinx we believe in promoting the use of fresh, local produce. Not only does it most often taste better, but it carries a much lower carbon-footprint and keeps local people in employment.

Rather than simply 'banging the drum' we are actively seeking to establish trading links between the tourist trade and local suppliers in all things, not just foodstuffs. This brings in the need to educate everyone in the 'bigger picture' - this includes banks, corporate lenders and associated companies in the financial sector, as demand for goods can be seasonal.

A further element of trading with the locals involves the establishment of groups & associations. Newer businesses (especially) can benefit greatly from being able to tap into the knowledge and experience gained by established businesses within the general locality. To that end we see the potential for mentoring schemes, where businesses help each other and in so doing raise the overall standards offered to visitors.

The Sphinx take on: CUSTOMER CARE, ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, MARKETING, STANDARDS, TRAINING, VALUE FOR MONEY.