Walking the Talk on Sustainable Gastronomy: Metropolitan Touring Focuses on Benefiting Local Producers
Real purchases and results, at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel
and Mashpi Lodge
- Provenance of food is paramount
- Purchasing local whenever possible
- Generate community value through regenerative practices
Residing sustainably is a high priority for many travelers. But while good intentions can be found all over the map, what really matters is the effectiveness of the sustainability efforts that properties put into place. For hotels that walk as well as talk sustainability amid the renowned natural and cultural wonders of Ecuador, consider the hotels of Metropolitan Touring.
Operating from Quito since 1953, Metropolitan Touring has made gastronomy a focus of its sustainability efforts at two award-winning hotels: Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, the only beachfront property on Santa Cruz island in the Galapagos Islands; and Mashpi Lodge, nestled within the 6,800-acres Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve near the capital city.
Metropolitan Touring’s focus on gastronomy, highlighted in this brief video, is keyed into the shared passion of many to experience a destination through its culinary culture, as well as to the life-changing benefits, such as sustainable development, that the use of local ingredients can bring to the populations who produce them.
Making the Provenance of Food Paramount
At Finch Bay, more than 35% of the ingredients incorporated into authentic Galapagos-style cuisine at the hotel’s signature restaurant are sourced locally from high-quality producers in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Lying within 20 km of the hotel, this proximity ensures freshness and reduces the need to transport ingredients 600 miles by cargo ship from mainland Ecuador. Result? A significant reduction in the Finch Bay’s carbon footprint coupled with a concrete contribution to the local economy.
At Mashpi Lodge, 75% of dishes on the menu of the glass-enclosed, two-story Dining Room are created with ingredients purchased within a 50 km radius. The Lodge’s culinary team uses 46 different ingredients, from hearts of palm and local fruit to brown sugar and herbs, produced on local farms. The team has also recently begun purchasing jams and will soon start using granola from ASOMEG, a women’s association from the nearby village of Guayabillas, an organization incubated and supported by Metropolitan Touring’s holding group’s foundation, Fundación Futuro, since 2020. The relationship with the community benefits 15 local families directly, with an increase in their incomes, and the local environment, by encouraging agroecological production.
Regenerative Practices as a Strategic Value
Metropolitan Touring’s strong commitment to sustainable gastronomy isn’t government-regulated but part of the company’s internal environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) framework. Its drive and implementation is supported by the Fundación Futuro, which works to raise awareness among all Metropolitan Touring employees and companies to generate strategic value through regenerative practices as an intrinsic part of each company’s business model. Mitigating the effects of climate change in the Andean Chocó region outside of Quito has enabled Metropolitan Touring to take concrete actions — from purchasing to logistics to operations — and provide the metrics with which it can measure the success and impact of its efforts.