Contract foodservice company Compass Group’s UK & Ireland (UK&I) division has banned air freight of fresh fruit and vegetable produce.
The ban will see the business focus on further increasing the use of local and seasonal products, as part of its wider environmental strategy.
Compass said its chefs have been focussing on reworking menus to accommodate these changes.
As well as banning air freight of fresh fruit and veg, Compass has committed to using free range eggs in the UK and introducing white eggs into the supply chain. This move exceeds its previous target of committing to cage-free eggs by 2025.
Marine Conservation Society rated 4 and 5 seafood is also being removed from Compass’s UK supply chain.
Each of these new measures has been driven by Compass’s procurement division, Foodbuy, which now has a dedicated sustainability team reviewing its supply chain and looking at how the organisation can support suppliers to become more sustainable.
Commenting on the ban of air freight of fresh fruit and vegetables, Anne Simonnet, head of sustainability & compliance at Foodbuy, said: “Fruit and vegetable produce is our second biggest buying category, so to have none of these items air freighted is significant.
“We have worked hard to find suppliers that are closer to home – with no compromise on quality. The actions we have taken on eggs and fish are also important steps and we will continue to engage with our partners and suppliers to reduce emissions and focus on animal welfare.”
As part of a wide-ranging net zero strategy, Compass has launched an electric vehicle policy which aims to reach 100% electric fleet cars by 2024 at the latest. It has also partnered with Oxford University’s LEAP programme to introduce eco-labelling on products.
Carolyn Ball, director for delivery of net zero at Compass Group UK&I, remarked: “We must match our intent with the urgency to act and we would like to thank our partners, suppliers, colleagues and clients for supporting us on the journey so far.
“Together we will, and we must, continue to be a catalyst for transformative change.”
[Image credit: Green Retail World]