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Compass brings together climate experts to discuss future of food

Compass Group UK & Ireland has just hosted a gathering of climate experts at London’s QEII Centre, as well as several hundred joining online, to discuss how we can build a sustainable food system.

Speakers at the conference included the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith MP; renowned climate academic, Professor Sir Charles Godfray; and Diane Holdorf, Managing Director of Food & Nature for World Business Council for Sustainable Development, who joined by video link from Geneva.

Anna Taylor, Director of the Food Foundation and key adviser for the National Food Strategy also spoke at the event, along with Nicola Weir, Director of World Climate Deloitte; Dr Emma Keller, Head of Sustainability for Nestle; Christina Adane, Co-Chair, Bite Back 2030; and Christian Paynton, Managing Director, United Fresh Consortium.

Global Compass Group PLC CEO Dominic Blakemore and Carolyn Ball, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Director of Net Zero Delivery highlighted how Compass Group were looking to tackle reducing climate emissions through the creation of a sustainable food system.

The event was hosted after the UK’s largest food and services provider announced its commitment to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. As part of Our Climate Promise, its broader set of commitments, Compass committed to using its platform to drive discussion around solutions to tackle climate change.

After the talks, the food services company held a food tasting session, showcasing its delicious low-carbon menus including Lincolnshire cauliflower stalk and leaves, samphire alongside Chalk Stream River Trout with a watercress sauce and roasted Worcestershire beetroot, carrot and sundried tomato, with cherry vinegar dressing.

Reflecting on the event, Robin Mills, MD, Compass Group UK & Ireland said, “The world needs to feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within planetary boundaries. We can only achieve this by transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food waste.

'The scale of this requires historic levels of transformation representing the biggest challenge our industry has faced. As the UK’s largest foodservice business, we take our responsibility to transform the food system seriously and we’re lucky to have great clients, suppliers and partners to help us.

'This event was a brilliant opportunity to discuss how we can move towards a sustainable food system and how we can achieve that together.”

Andrew Griffith MP, the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion, said, “Businesses can be global leaders in the fight against climate change and help make a real difference. With the G7 meeting in Cornwall concluded and COP26 just 100 days away, we have a huge opportunity to get this right.

'But we are nearing our last best chance to save our planet. I’d like to thank Compass Group UK & Ireland for joining the Race to Zero campaign and its leadership in driving the conversation around climate action. We hope that other businesses, small or large, will also join the initiative to help us to achieve our global targets.”

Diane Holdorf, Managing Director, Food & Nature, World Business Council for Sustainable Development said, “Food plays a really powerful role in human health, productivity, economic growth and the health of our planet.

' It’s essential to culture and can be a profoundly personal source of creativity and enjoyment. But the food system that we’re all such a part of is also putting huge pressure on health and ecosystems.

'Nature, equity, nutrition and hunger are hugely important business issues and we are thrilled to see Compass using its scale and influence to help address these challenges.”