A Cooperative Partnership for Sustainable Ingredients at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Mal

From the beautiful beaches of Boracay to the exquisite marine life of the Maldives, Shangri-La resorts around the world strive to minimize their impact on the surrounding environments. As Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives was the first five-star resort in the Addu Atoll, we saw it was our duty to the environment and community to create a supply chain that everyone could thrive in and benefits the local economy.

In 2010, the resort initiated the Addu Meedhoo Cooperative Society (AMCS), a partnership with local farmers from neighboring Meedhoo islands. The resort extended US $15,900 to the AMCS to build four units of greenhouses just 20 minutes from the resort. Today, the AMCS is comprised of 93 farmers, who use the greenhouse to grow vegetables and fruit, which are purchased for the resort’s restaurants.

Through this cooperative, Shangri-La is supporting and encouraging local businesses.

The resort also has its own Chef’s Garden, which is used to discover and cultivate additional crops that can grow on Villingili. When a plant is successful, the resort invites farmers from the AMCS and the area to the Chef’s Garden and teaches them how to grow and care for the new plants. Once the local farmers are capable of producing the plant on their own land, the resort purchases the fresh produce from the farmers. Through this process, the farmers can expand their crops and, in turn, the chefs are able to expand the ingredients they work with.

Since the cooperative’s inception in 2010, the resort has increased its purchased produce by more than 900 percent from 10,200 kilograms (about 22,500 pounds) to 96,000 kilograms (about 211,600 pounds) in 2013. The cooperative has flourished, enabling the farmers to also sell fruits and vegetables to other resorts, shops and community members.

The resort’s Rooted in Nature commitment extends to the sea, where local fish suppliers from nearby Maradhoo and Feydoo islands use the most sustainable method of fishing—pole-and-line fishing—to catch tuna. To ensure the freshness of the fish served to guests, the resort purchases local fishermen’s catches of the day, which are delivered directly to the resort’s supply jetty.

In a remote location like the Maldives, some may think it is difficult to serve fresh, local ingredients . With partnerships like these, we are pleased to offer our guests the best of the best. We look forward to continuing a high level of commitment to our suppliers and guests at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives.