Greenpeace gives Aramark a (barely) passing grade on sustainable seafood

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Aramark and its biggest competitors, Sodexo USA and Compass Group USA, were the only three firms of 15 surveyed by Greenpeace to participate fully in an analysis of policies on seafood, labor practices of suppliers, traceability, and other factors.

Aramark was one of three major food-service companies to receive a passing grade, barely, for seafood sustainability in a report issued Tuesday by the enviromental organization Greenpeace.

Aramark and its biggest competitors, Sodexo USA and Compass Group USA, were the only three firms of 15 surveyed by Greenpeace to participate fully in the analysis, which looked at the companies' policies on wild and farm-raised seafood, labor practices of suppliers, traceability, and other factors.

The study included seven food-service firms such as Aramark and eight distributors such as Sysco Corp. Sysco, Aramark's biggest supplier, did not fare well in the Greenpeace report, though it was the top distributor.

David Pinsky, a Greenpeace analyst, said Aramark uses "sustainably caught skipjack tuna . . . from Rema Foods and Pacifical" rather than the Sysco products that Greenpeace finds objectionable.

"This is a clear indication of leadership from Aramark in response to the lack of a sustainable tuna product from Sysco," Pinsky said.

An Aramark spokeswoman said that the Philadelphia company buys some seafood from Sysco that meets specific guidelines, and that the "vast majority" of the company's U.S. seafood purchases are from sustainable sources.

Companies had to score 40 points to pass in the Greenpeace analysis. Aramark's score was 40.1, behind 40.3 for Compass and 41.8 for Sodexo.

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