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Better for the World

We leverage our scale to make a positive contribution globally, involving our diverse people, thousands of suppliers and local communities, and hundreds of partners, alongside our clients.

2020 Highlights

  • We hit our 50% sustainable seafood target in our top 10 markets
  • Our UK business joined with the Roundtable on Sustainable Soya and EFECA (experts in sustainable forests and agriculture) to urge the UK government to do more against deforestation
  • In the USA, we spent more than $75.5 million with local, family farms in 2020
  • During 2020, we donated the equivalent of more than two million meals to people in need
  • Foodbuy UK & Ireland won the CIPS Excellence in Procurement Award for ‘Best Initiative to Deliver Social Value through Procurement’

Sourcing Responsibly

We source our products from all around the world. Our priority is to ensure we partner with suppliers who meet our high standards of food safety and quality, ethical trade, animal welfare and sustainability. Our global supply chain integrity requirements ensure that we work only with suppliers who share our values. Our code of business conduct (CBC) outlines what we expect of all of our partners. Read it online on our policies page.

100%

egg-icon-5 Cage-free shell eggs and liquid eggs by 2025

100%

file Palm oil used to prepare food in our kitchens to be certified sustainable from physical sources by 2022

100%

file Higher welfare chicken used across North America and Europe by 2026

Farm animal welfare

Farm animal welfare is important to us. We continue to collaborate with partners such as Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International and The Humane League in addition to our engagements with co-members of the Global Coalition on Animal Welfare (GCAW) to drive improved welfare outcomes. We have been assessed by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) since its inception in 2012 and are pleased to have maintained our Tier 3 ranking in its latest report. 

We have introduced cage-free eggs to clients in new markets and increased clients’ awareness of sustainable food supply. However, due to COVID-19 related challenges, our proportion of cage-free eggs decreased this year (currently 27% for shell eggs and 14% for liquid eggs). We have re-prioritised our efforts to accelerate progress in some of our largest markets. As of May 2021, 100% of the shell and liquid eggs we purchase in the US are cage free. We remain committed to sourcing 100% cage-free shell eggs and liquid egg products by 2025. Additionally, 100% of our chicken in Europe and North America will meet higher welfare standards by 2026.

Deforestation

We know that sourcing specific food products, such as beef or soy from the Amazon biome or palm oil, can lead to deforestation and desertification. We are committed to preventing this and actively seek to reduce our sourcing of products from the Amazon biome region such as soy or beef.  Our goal is for the palm oil used to prepare food in our kitchens to be 100% certified sustainable from physical sources by 2022. We are active members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS).

Fish and Seafood

We are buying more and more responsibly sourced fish to help protect the oceans and marine life. Our goal is for 50% of our fish and seafood to be certified sustainable (currently 45%). In our top 10 countries, we reached our goal in 2020 and are now working to achieve the same across our top 20 countries.

Ethical Trade

We are committed to supporting ethical trade and paying a fair price to farmers. Across most of our operating countries, we purchase certified ethically traded products including coffee, tea and chocolate. Within our top 25 countries, 26% of the coffee and tea we purchased in the last financial year was certified ethically traded.

Human Rights 

Our approach to helping eradicate modern slavery and supporting human rights reflects how we conduct our business activities: we seek to operate with honesty and integrity, and we expect our supply chain partners around the world to do the same. We are committed to upholding the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code as outlined in our Code of Business Conduct (CBC). Any potential supplier breaches of our CBC, uncovered via audit or any other means, are fully investigated and, where possible, remedied. Suppliers whose breaches are not remedied are terminated. We are a signatory to the UN Global Compact and publish an annual update on progress. We also publish an annual Modern Slavery Act Statement.

Supporting our suppliers

We are working to improve supply chain transparency across our business through the education and training of our procurement teams. We also choose to enhance livelihoods in our communities by sourcing from local suppliers. Reducing the complexity in our supply chains helps to make them more resilient – and reduces food miles too.

Enriching Local Communities

It is important for us to give back to the local communities in which we operate. We do this by partnering with charities and getting involved with projects and initiatives that benefit the local area. Supporting local communities has been especially important during the pandemic, with many families and small businesses facing difficulties. We donated more than 1,100 tonnes of food during the pandemic lockdowns, providing the equivalent of more than two million meals for people in our local communities.

Collaborating for Big Change

No single country, business or organisation alone can tackle the serious challenges facing our world today. That is why partnerships are so important and are recognised as a Sustainable Development Goal in their own right. As the biggest player in our industry, we have the expertise to help shape positive change on food focused issues. We recognise the vital importance of working together with our clients, suppliers and other stakeholders to find solutions to these challenges.

As a global business, we recognise the critical importance of working in partnership with our clients, suppliers and other stakeholders to improve the positive contribution that we can make to help address some of the biggest issues facing all of us and the planet. Whether it is tackling hunger by donating surplus food through charities like FareShare, developing our people to fulfil their potential or sourcing more sustainable products through not-for profit trade associations, we could not achieve our goals without the support of our clients and suppliers, and the many excellent external organisations with whom we work.

We have the ability and expertise to help shape positive change on food focused issues Compass Group became a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO led organisation of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. Members are united by a shared vision of a world where more than nine billion people are all living well and within the boundaries of our planet, by 2050. Compass is involved in several food related workstreams to help transition to a more sustainable food system.