Ethical and sustainability dimensions of foodservice in Australian ecotourism businesses
Fennell, D & Markwell, K 2015, 'Ethical and sustainability dimensions of foodservice in Australian ecotourism businesses', Journal of Ecotourism, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 48-63.
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The first decades of the twenty-first century are witnessing growing public interest in the ethical and sustainability dimensions of food production and consumption. Increasing numbers of consumers are buying meat that has been produced using ‘free-range’ rather than intensive, ‘factory-farm’ methods and for seafood harvested from sustainable fisheries. This paper examines the ethics and sustainability of food provision within the specific context of ecotourism. The websites of a sample of Australian accredited ecotourism businesses were subjected to content analysis to assess the extent to which ethical and sustainability dimensions of food production, distribution and consumption were mentioned and discussed. Findings suggest that overall very few ecotourism businesses mention ethical and sustainability dimensions of food on their websites. Food and wine ecotourism operators were more likely than ecolodges or wildlife tourism operators to acknowledge aspects of ethical sourcing of food and food sustainability. Operators with the highest level of ecotourism certification did not perform better than other operators in terms of the website descriptions of their foodservice business practices in relation to ethics and sustainability.