Sustainable produce

From field to fork: compote made from locally-sourced apples for children in the Paris region

Epône pommes locales
Elior’s Epône central kitchen, which cooks 6,000 meals a day for schoolchildren in the Paris region, prepares its apple compote from locally-sourced apples. This in-depth report takes us into the kitchen to follow what happens to the fruit on its journey from the field to fork.

Apples from the Sennevières orchards

All of the Group’s apple compote is made from locally-sourced fruit harvested in the Sennevières orchards, in the Oise region. This fruit is labeled High Environmental Value level 3, which is the highest, and 100% eco-responsible orchard certified.

Elior buys fruit that is irregularly sized, ugly, or too ripe from the producer and then transforms it into compote. This avoids wasting downgraded fruit that has little chance of being sold. As such, the Group procures nearly one ton of apples per week.

one ton of local apples

purchased per week

Homemade recipes for tasty cuisine

These apples are chosen carefully then cooked with care.

The apples arrive fresh, straight from the Orchards, to be washed and peeled by Elior’s kitchen teams.  This is possible thanks a vegetable processing area in the central kitchen where raw and earthy fruit and vegetables are cleaned, peeled and then sliced. The fact that Elior has a vegetable processing area in a central kitchen illustrates the Group’s objective to offer more raw and local products, and thus testifies to our investment to step up the transformation of our activities towards eating heathier and responsible food. More generally, in the Épône central cuisine, nearly 30% of the fruit and vegetables are locally-sourced and seasonal, with a rate of 80% for apples and pears in season (from November to February).

30% of fruit and vegetables sourced locally and seasonal

Légumerie Epône

Once the apples have been cut, they are cooked and made into compote. Elior’s teams have created recipes that respect the taste of the fruit especially for children. Several cooking techniques are used. For example, apples may be boiled in a pot or steamed, without the addition of any sugar, just like at home! Compotes are healthy and suitable for children. Modern kitchen equipment makes it possible to transform irregular and "ugly" looking fruit into well-proportioned and regular dishes. These apples can also be used for other recipes, such as red cabbage and apple appetizers, apple muffins, and fine crust pies, etc.

An educational approach for parents, schools and children

Eating locally-sourced and seasonal produce involves adopting different eating habits to a certain extent, and adapting to the rhythm of nature. The climatic vagaries of 2021, for example, had a negative impact on cherry and strawberry crops. Menus must be adapted according to the supplies available in season. One of Elior's missions is therefore to make parents, schools and children aware of responsible consumption, that is to say be respectful of nature.

Elior’s role is also to introduce children to new savors. From experience, a new dish needs to be presented to children 5 times before they begin to appreciate it. When a new ingredient is introduced, Elior’s cooks present it together with a dish they know the children like; the idea being to accustom children gradually to eating a variety of foods and a balanced diet. The Elior Observatoire du goût taste observatory then features the meals that have had the most success with the children.


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