Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Contessa and Compass Team up for Sustainability (press release)

February 11, 2010
Shrimp Farms Following the Process Would Be Rated
"Good Alternative" Under Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program
CHARLOTTE, NC. . . Compass Group USA, Foodbuy LLC and Contessa Premium
Foods today announce
the first successful implementation by a major food service company of
sustainable purchasing standards
for imported farm-raised shrimp. The standards – including independent,
third-party audits –
have been endorsed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
Foodbuy is the procurement company for Compass Group.
Historically, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's respected Seafood Watch program
deemed all imported
farm-raised shrimp unsustainable and placed them on the "Avoid" list.
Contessa Premium Foods is
providing Compass Group the first and only imported farm-raised shrimp
recognized as sustainable by
Seafood Watch. These sustainable shrimp standards are unique within the
food service industry in that
they advocate real and achievable environmental benchmarks, and establish
a process to document
that those benchmarks are being achieved.
The purchasing standards were developed by Compass Group and Contessa, in
collaboration with the
Monterey Bay Aquarium. By applying these standards to specific shrimp
farms, and by including a
third-party process to verify that the standards are being applied in the
field, Contessa has met
Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch criteria for a "Good Alternative"
"Monterey Bay Aquarium has been a highly valued partner with Compass in
developing our entire
sustainable seafood program," said Marc Zammit, vice president of
sustainability initiatives for
Compass. "They have worked closely with us and Contessa over several
years in an intensive program
that included in-country testing, as well as independent confirmation."
"The goal of Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program has been to
harness the power of the
marketplace to create real change that translates into healthy oceans,"
said Edward Cassano, senior
director of conservation outreach for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. "Compass
Group's strong commitment
to the Seafood Watch program, and Contessa's willingness to work at the
farm level to provide a fully
traceable supply of sustainably farmed shrimp in line with Seafood Watch
criteria, demonstrates that
significant, conservation-oriented shrimp aquaculture practices are
"Compass Group and other major seafood buyers are demanding sustainable
seafood that meets the
sustainability standards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium program," Cassano
added. "Producers and suppliers
who take the lead – as Contessa has done – will be rewarded for their
efforts by the marketplace."
Compass' sustainable shrimp purchasing standards advocate an effective
procurement policy that
supports ecologically responsible aquaculture practices. Core practices
of sustainable shrimp
aquaculture include maintaining mangrove ecosystems, minimizing other
ecosystem impacts,
eliminating antibiotic use, reducing excessive reliance on feed from wild
sources and promoting
overall compliance with local, national and international laws.
The standards also require product traceability back to the source, to
ensure that 100 percent of the
shrimp sold to Compass comes from farms that meet its sustainable
purchasing standards. The standards
recognize the sustainability achievements that Contessa has already put
in place while providing a
road map for ongoing improvements and benchmarks for such improvement.
Under these standards, Contessa has been recognized as the exclusive
supplier of sustainable shrimp
for Compass Group and Foodbuy.
"We are all confident that ongoing monitoring will ensure that these
significant standards achieve
measurable ecological gains," said Rick Stone, vice president of
sustainability, Foodbuy.
"We are proud of our pioneering group effort and believe it will help
protect ecosystems while responsibly
feeding our growing population," said John Z. Blazevich, president and
CEO of Contessa Premium Foods.
About Compass Group: Based in Charlotte NC, Compass Group North America
is the leading foodservice and
support services company with $9.2 billion in revenues in 2009. With
386,000 associates worldwide, its parent
company, UK-based Compass Group PLC had revenues of £13.4 billion in the
year to September 30, 2009.
About Foodbuy LLC: Foodbuy LLC is the largest Group Purchasing Company
(GPO) for high volume multi-unit
food operators in North America. Foodbuy purchases thousands of food and
non-food items from a select
number of quality suppliers and works with primary and secondary
suppliers for most categories. Their
procurement office is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is
responsible for negotiating significant savings
by focusing on the purchasing needs of multi-unit operators on a category
by category basis.
About Contessa Premium Foods, Inc.: Contessa Premium Foods is an
environmentally and nutritionally
responsible food company producing high quality frozen seafood, prepared
meals and exotic vegetables for
retail, club, foodservice, military and private label channels. Contessa
is recognized globally for exceeding
industry standards and celebrated for its product innovation, premium
quality and environmental contribution.
In 2007, Contessa built the world's first green LEED-certified
frozen-food manufacturing plant; reducing energy
use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 65% daily; and 100% carbon
neutral. www.contessa.com
About Monterey Bay Aquarium: The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay
Aquarium is to inspire conservation
of the oceans. The Aquarium's Seafood Watch program empowers seafood
consumers and businesses to make
choices for healthy oceans. In doing so, the program works to transform
seafood markets in ways that create
incentives for sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices.

Matthew Hovey http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewhovey
ext.121 / fax 718-433-4616 cell 718-679-0641
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