Aquarium and Aramark Promote Shift to Sustainable Seafood
APRIL 18, 2008By Press Release The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Aramark, a world leader in professional facilities management and food services, have entered into a partnership under which Aramark commits to new practices that will guide its purchases of sustainable seafood for all Aramark operations across the United States.
As part of the partnership, Aramark is beginning immediately to shift its seafood purchases toward sustainable sources. The company will complete the transition by 2018.
Aramark's operations in the United States alone employ about 180,000 people and serve tens of millions of consumers at businesses, universities, schools, sports and entertainment facilities, parks and other locations. This includes scores of major league sports facilities, convention centers, leading zoos and aquariums, and national parks and attractions, including Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, Anaheim Convention Center, the University of Pennsylvania, New Jersey's Adventure Aquarium and Denali Park Resorts in Alaska.
Aramark's action is the latest in a series of significant commitments by leading retailers and food service providers to work with the Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative and similar programs around the world.
“We’re delighted to partner with Aramark and help the company fulfill its commitment to serving seafood that comes from sustainable wild and farmed sources,” said Michael Sutton, director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Center for the Future of the Oceans, which incorporates the Sustainable Seafood Initiative and Seafood Watch program, www.seafoodwatch.org. “This decision by Aramark, and similar commitments by other business leaders, will have a real impact in the marketplace. By creating more demand for seafood from sources that protect the health of ocean ecosystems, we’re on a path toward improving fishing practices around the world.”
Since 1999, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative has made recommendations – based on sound fisheries science – about which seafood to buy and which to avoid with the ultimate goal of transforming the seafood market to create incentives that protect the health of ocean wildlife and ecosystems.
“Being good environmental stewards is important to our employees, our customers and the communities in which we live and work,” said Robert Dennill, Aramark’s associate vice president for corporate social responsibility. “The expertise and knowledge we are able to gain from the Monterey Bay Aquarium will guide business practices and influence consumer behaviors, helping strengthen our commitment to the environment.”
The Aquarium will help Aramark to make the transition by providing timely, expert information about what sustainable seafood is available in the market; advice and assistance about finding sources of sustainable seafood; and providing staff support and a suite of programs to help ARAMARK with staff training and education efforts among its clients and customers.
Aramark is already working with its suppliers, chefs and managers to:
· Identify and encourage the purchase of seafood listed on the Aquarium’s “Best Choices” and “Good Alternatives” lists, and discourage purchase of seafood on the “Avoid” list;
· Combine operator feedback and Aquarium research so that seafood recommendations are progressive yet achievable;
· Create marketing and training materials for managers and front-line staff that clearly convey ARAMARK’s commitment to sustainable seafood; and
· Distribute the Aquarium’s Seafood Watch consumer pocket guides to its customers.
In recent years, Monterey Bay Aquarium and other members of the Seafood Choices Alliance (www.seafoodchoices.org) have announced partnership agreements with a number of major retailers and food service companies to support the shift to sustainable seafood, including Wal-Mart and Wegmans.
Internationally, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC, www.msc.org) recognizes – via a certification program – well-managed fisheries and encourages consumers to select seafood products bearing the MSC seal of approval.
“The future of seafood, and the fate of ocean wildlife, is an urgent environmental issue,” Sutton said. “Globally, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization reports that the majority of all commercial fisheries are being fished at or beyond their limits. And scientists recently projected that unless we change our fishing patterns, virtually all commercial fisheries will be gone within 50 years.”
“By engaging with partners like Aramark, we’re moving closer to a solution,” he said.About the Monterey Bay Aquarium
The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean. Through its award-winning exhibits, education programs and cutting-edge marine research, it has established itself as a leader among aquariums worldwide. It is consistently ranked as the No. 1 aquarium in the United States and the top aquarium for families. It has reached more than 43 million visitors, and tens of millions more through its website and through outreach programs like Seafood Watch. The Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative works to transform the seafood market in ways that support sustainable fisheries practices and fish-farming operations. www.montereybayaquarium.org, www.seafoodwatch.org
Aramark is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine's 2008 list of "America's Most Admired Companies," Aramark was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. Aramark also ranked first in its industry in the 2007 FORTUNE 500 survey. Aramark seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Aramark has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 19 countries. Learn more at the company’s Web site, www.aramark.com.