Catering industry and facilities management giant Sodexo has been commended for its commitment to sustainable and ethical food.
The company, which employs 35,000 people in the UK and Ireland, was awarded a certificate of commendation by London Food Link, part of the food campaign group Sustain, praising Sodexo's use of Fairtrade products, record on animal welfare, support of British farming and use of sustainable fish.
Jonathan Pauling, a member of the Greater London Authority Food Team, and Kath Dalmeny, policy director of Sustain, presented Sodexo with the certificate at the recent Good Food for London Conference.
Speaking after the event, Michelle Hanson, commercial director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: "We are delighted to receive this commendation in recognition of our commitment to sustainable food procurement.
"We have set ourselves ambitious targets to help Sodexo become a world leader in sustainable business practice and we are working hard and successfully towards achieving them."
Sodexo has undertaken a number of steps to introduce sustainability measures into its procurement process under its Better Tomorrow Plan – a strategy which runs until 2020.
The company's portfolio of Fairtrade products has an annual value of £1 million, it is the first major foodservice company to offer products from RSPCA Freedom Food approved farms and Sodexo's restaurants serve Marine Stewardship Council certified sustainable fish and Red Tractor produce, which means each item can be traced back to a British Farm.
It follows an announcement in August this year from Sodexo's North American arm that it is to switch to stop using eggs from battery hens.
From July 2014, all of the 39 million shelled eggs the firm purchases each year will be sourced from cage-free hens, said the company.
Deborah Hecker, vice president of sustainability at Sodexo Inc," said: "Our decision to source shelled eggs exclusively from hens in a cage-free environment specifically addresses our commitments to buy local, seasonal or sustainably grown or raised products."
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