Compass Group launches produce campaign

Playing off Bon Appétit Management Co.’s five year-old Eat Local Challenge, parent group Compass Group North America is launching its own campaign to support local farmers called “It Takes You–Eat Local.”

For one week, Compass accounts will feature local produce and information about local farms. During the promotion, cafes will feature at least one locally grown produce item on their menus. Compass defines “local” as coming from a 150-mile radius of the café. According to a press release, Compass Group’s goal is to support local farmers and educate customers about how buying local affects their communities.  

In conjunction with the It Takes You–Eat Local promotion, Compass Group is also promoting its partnership with The Produce for Better Health Foundation for the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters initiative, which encourages a greater consumption of fruits and vegetables for better health.

Also part of the It Takes You–Eat Local promotion is Compass Group’s AG in the Middle program, which is a plan to develop partnerships with 2,013 American family farms by 2013. Chefs and managers of Compass Group cafes are encouraged to develop these relationships with farmers in their areas.

Participating operating companies include Eurest Dining Services, Morrison Management Specialists, Chartwells, FLIK International and FLIK Independent Schools.

At the same time, Bon Appétit is gearing up for its fifth annual Eat Local Challenge by focusing on how customers can improve healthcare costs through healthier food choices.

Bon Appétit chefs are rising to the Eat Local Challenge by creating healthy meals that are also full of flavor because of local ingredients. On Sept. 29, the 5th annual Eat Local Challenge will bring this philosophy to the forefront of menus at Bon Appétit accounts by providing a meal made from 100% locally sourced products. The meals are designed to showcase the area’s harvest and often requires months of advanced planning.

"We wanted to produce a truly 100% local pizza," David Apthorpe, executive chef at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, said in a press release. "Just in time for the Eat Local Challenge, farmer Monroe Stutzman of Stutzman Farms in Millersburg harvested and milled the first custom wheat flour exclusively for our pizza. His 35 acres of wheat will produce 70,000 pounds of flour, which will make more than 70,000 pizzas for the Case community to enjoy, year-round. That's the kind of synergy between farmers and chefs that the Eat Local Challenge is all about."