The Allure Of Plants
WINE&DINE|November - December 2020
As the demand for sustainable dining and living gets louder, the Banyan Tree Group responds with eco-driven, green collaborations alongside ORI9IN and Grassroots Pantry.
Faye Bradley

Sustainability, a buzzword in agriculture in recent years, is defined as a mutually beneficial relationship between the economy, community and environment by the Union of Concerned Scientists. It’s a complex approach that more and more are trying to adopt in various countries around the world.

Within the region, Thailand has been leading the pack by prioritising environmental issues. Last year, the country ranked fifth place amongst Asia Pacific travel destinations on the Global Destination Sustainability Index also known as the GDS-Index. Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the index rates countries based on their economic, social and environmental efforts.

One such example is ORI9IN, a sustainable farm occupying 350 acres of land in the rural San Sai district. Located in Chiang Mai, the project is a partnership between hotelier Banyan Tree Group and chef James Noble. It’s the second run of Noble’s retainership, reverse-farming model where restaurants instruct him to grow the herbs and vegetables they want—the first iteration was in Pak Nam Pran and called The Boutique Farmers—in order to reduce wastage and control the market value of produce.

The collaboration stems from a joint passion for a green future, aiming to elevate sustainable food sourcing and plant-based cuisine to live a healthier, more environmental-friendly lifestyle. “We would like to see 50 hotel groups using our retained farming model whilst developing modular staycation accommodation and furthering agritourism,” he quips.

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