Farm-To-Table Movement

The farm-to-table movement has been gaining momentum in New Zealand’s hospitality and foodservice industry, and for a good reason. This approach to cooking and eating is all about using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create delicious, healthy, and sustainable meals. In this article, we will take a closer look at the farm-to-table movement in New Zealand and its impact on the food industry.


What is Farm-to-Table?

Farm-to-table is a food movement that emphasizes using locally grown or raised ingredients in cooking. The idea is to create dishes that showcase the best of what’s available in the local area, whether it’s fresh produce, grass-fed meat, or sustainably caught seafood. By sourcing ingredients directly from local farmers and producers, chefs can create menus that are both seasonal and unique to the region. In addition to supporting local businesses and reducing food miles, the farm-to-table approach also promotes sustainability and helps to minimize the environmental impact of food production.


Why is Farm-to-Table Popular in New Zealand?

New Zealand is known for its high-quality agricultural products, including lamb, beef, dairy, seafood, and produce. The country’s diverse geography and climate make it an ideal location for growing a wide range of crops, from grapes and kiwifruit to avocados and apples. With such an abundance of fresh, high-quality ingredients available, it’s no wonder that the farm-to-table movement has taken hold in New Zealand.

In addition to the availability of local ingredients, New Zealanders are also becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their food choices. By choosing locally sourced and sustainably grown food, consumers can reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transportation and support businesses that are committed to minimizing their environmental impact. Many restaurants and foodservice establishments in New Zealand have recognized these trends and have embraced the farm-to-table movement as a way to meet consumer demand for fresh, sustainable, and locally inspired cuisine.

Examples of Farm-to-Table Restaurants in New Zealand

New Zealand hospitality businesses have long supported the farm-to-table principle with their NZ wine list with an ever increasing number supporting this same philosophy for the menu. Here are just a few examples:

Amano,in Aucklands Britomart, is owned by the Savor group and is a massively successful European style market restaurant. It has  built a massive business around the provenance of the best fresh, local and sustainably produced ingredients. 

Ortega Fish Shack, Wellington – This casual seafood restaurant is committed to using sustainable and locally caught fish and seafood. The menu changes daily, depending on what’s available, but you can always expect fresh, delicious seafood cooked to perfection.

The Oyster Inn, Waiheke Island – Located on picturesque Waiheke Island, The Oyster Inn is a seafood-focused restaurant that emphasizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The menu features dishes such as grilled fish, oysters, and lobster, as well as seasonal vegetables and salads.

Amisfield, Queenstown – This very popular Queenstown restaurant is committed to using the best and most interesting seasonal ingredients. It is situated at Lake Hayes on a single organic vineyard estate and their suppliers include local hunters, fishermen, gatherers and farmers.

Farm-to-Table Beyond Restaurants

The farm-to-table movement is not limited to fine dining or cafes but is also being embraced by schools, hospitals, and other institutions. For example, the Waikato District Health Board, which oversees several hospitals in the Waikato region, has implemented a program to source 50% of its food from local sources, including local farmers and growers. Similarly, the Auckland University of Technology has implemented a farm-to-table program that provides locally sourced and sustainably grown food options to its students and staff.


The farm-to-table movement in New Zealand is not just a trend, but a way of life for many restaurants, cafes, and foodservice establishments. By sourcing local ingredients, these establishments are not only providing customers with fresh and sustainable food options, but also supporting the local economy and reducing the carbon footprint associated with food transportation. The examples highlighted in this article are just a few of the many businesses in New Zealand that are leading the way in the farm-to-table movement, and we can expect to see more establishments embrace this concept in the coming years.


Mark Collins