IN A bid to help strengthen the local economy, Maroochy RSL is making a concerted effort to support Sunshine Coast owned and operated businesses by using local suppliers across a range of industries.
Maroochy RSL tries to source as much as possible locally, with a focus on the long-term ecological, social and economic benefits it will drive.
Executive chef Brett McRae said while the cost of buying fresh local produce could sometimes be slightly higher than cheaper imports, the benefits were improved freshness and quality as well as stronger relationships with local business people.
"Obviously most local suppliers do not have the bulk buying power of large corporations, however they often have a superior product and it is the quality of the produce that sets them apart," Mr McRae said.
"I am dedicated to serving the best food available, and for us that means buying local wherever we can so we can confidently be sure where it came from and that it was caught or picked at its best."
Mr McRae said customers were becoming more aware of the benefits of buying local, including reducing food kilometres and lowering carbon emissions.
"When you source produce locally, the food has to travel less, so you're responsible for lower carbon emissions from transportation; and the food is better because it tastes fresh," Mr McRae said.
"There is no need to tamper with the natural state of the produce because it does not need to 'last longer' than intended.
"Buying local is a positive way to stimulate the local economy, promote the best of local suppliers and keep friends in jobs."
Maroochy RSL has been buying local produce for more than 15 years and currently sources more than 50% of its food needs, including milk, meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, bread and some of their cakes from local Sunshine Coast suppliers.
It was one of the first Coast businesses to change their dairy supplier to Kenilworth brand Lynward Queensland Milk.
The RSL also sources local suppliers for its printing, advertising and marketing.