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Sustainable Group Exceeds Targets and Moves On

CALIFORNIA, US - At Monterey Bay Aquarium's Cooking for Solutions, Compass Group USA announced the three-year results of its sustainable seafood purchasing initiatives implemented in 2006. They also took the opportunity to announce the second phase of its sustainability seafood platform leading up to 2012.

Three years ago, Compass Group was the first company of its size, and in the contract foodservice industry, to pledge to the following, replace Atlantic cod -- a species that leading conservation organizations have recommended that consumers avoid, seek ways to decrease its use of shrimp and salmon that are farmed in an unsustainable manner, eliminate all other 'Avoid' species found on the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch list, and increase its use of 'Best Choices.'

They now say that they have sxceeded that target, by decreasing 1.5 million pounds of unsustainable seafood from its purchasing invoices, with an overall purchasing rate of 70 per cent sustainable.

  • With a focus on eliminating Atlantic Cod purchases, Compass Group has removed close to 300,000 lbs. since 2006. It eliminated Atlantic cod from its order guides and actively promotes Alaskan Pollock through its national broad-line distribution.

  • Between 2007 and 2008, Compass Group decreased its unsustainable shrimp purchases by 835,000 lbs, and decreased its unsustainable salmon purchases by 192,000 lbs. while increasing its purchasing of sustainable (wild) salmon by 49 per cent. This was the most challenging due to the popularity of both species with consumers and the lack on consensus among conservationists about what sustainably farmed seafood and salmon means.

  • Compass dropped 1.046 million pounds lbs. of unsustainable seafood from its purchasing invoices, and eliminated 12 species from its order guides, based on the "Avoid" list from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program.

  • Compass Group increased sustainable seafood purchases by 5.5 million pounds by purchasing more Alaskan pollock, farmed tilapia from Ecuador and wild Alaskan salmon, Pacific halibut, striped bass, Arctic char, barramundi, skipjack tuna, American lobster, wild-caught salmon, Dungeness crab, stone crab and wild-caught clams. Alaskan Pollock and Pacific cod are the only pollock and cod species that accounts are allowed to purchase through Compass' broad liner.

Building upon the seafood sustainability platform it has already developed, Compass Group has decided to focus on the following:

  • Engage the salmon, shrimp and tilapia aquaculture industry to implement sustainable methods of managing production waste and fish escapes from the farm to the marine environment, with specific goals and timelines for further reducing the purchase of unsustainable shrimp and salmon by 500,000 lbs. in the next three years.

  • Facilitate a joint Monterey Bay Aquarium /Compass Group education program on ocean sustainability issues tailored for Compass' regional and national seafood suppliers. This will include the adoption of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch platform and specific Seafood Watch descriptors on its purchasing order guides to aid Compass operators in making the right choices.

the Fish Site Editor

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