A Staffordshire hotelier spends thousands of pounds extra each year in his quest to use locally produced food on his menus.
John Lewis, who runs the Moat House Hotel in Acton Trussell, Staffordshire, The Swan Hotel in Stafford and Hadley Park House in Telford, Shropshire, said the quality and locality of produce overrode the need to acquire cheaper foods.
Mr Lewis, who also runs an arable and beef farm and was awarded an MBE for his efforts in preventing foot-and-mouth disease from engulfing the county, said: "It has been our policy for the last ten years to source products, as much as possible, locally and we have been very successful at it.
"It has got numerous advantages. We know the people who we are dealing with it, it cuts down food miles.
"It encourages people in family businesses to diversify. It makes opportunities for people that want to set up their own businesses. It is something you have to work on, it doesn't happen by itself but it can be very satisfying when you can do it."
Mr Lewis does not have to go far to find some of his ingredients.
His next- door neighbour supplies him with asparagus and soft fruits. Another neighbour provides potatoes. His meat is also bought locally. He is so proud of his ability to provide this service that all of his suppliers feature on the back of his menus.
"We pay about five or ten per cent more by getting our produce locally but the prices are often very competitive.
"In the course of a year we would spend a few thousand extra but it is first class.
"We are very conscious about traceability - we know where our chickens, beef and pork come from and we are doing this for the
benefit of our customers. There are plenty of people who would jump at the chance of supplying restaurants in Birmingham and many of those restaurants don't realise they are not 100 miles away from some of the best food in the world."
Paul Gilmore, who runs Restaurant Gilmore near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, travels across the county to source locally produced food.
"I am a food fanatic, I spend more time and effort but I think it is worth it. The overall comments from the customer is that it is wonderful," he said.