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Restaurant Management Co. Snags Ecology Award for Procurement Policies

The Ecological Society of America (ESA), the nation's oldest ecological science organization, has presented its prestigious Corporate Award to Bon Appétit Management Company. The award honors Bon Appétit's incorporation of sound ecological concepts, knowledge, and practices into planning and operating procedures.

California-based Bon Appétit operates more than 190 restaurants and cafés in corporations, universities, and specialty venues in 24 states, including Yahoo!, the Getty Museum, and American University. The company is raising awareness of its sustainable practices through joint programs with Environmental Defense, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, and other organizations.

"ESA commends Bon Appétit for its work leading to this award," said Dr. Kate Lathja, ESA member and chair of the Corporate Award Subcommittee. "The company has incorporated many programs aimed at incorporating socially and environmentally responsible practices."

The ESA award specifically cited Bon Appétit’s "Circle of Responsibility" program, a comprehensive approach to environmentally responsible and sustainable practices incorporated into operations at all Bon Appétit cafés. The Circle of Responsibility initiatives include:

Farm to Fork

Farm to Fork is a Bon Appétit company-wide initiative to buy locally. The first choice is to purchase seasonal, regional and organic produce from local farmers and artisan producers within a 150-mile radius. These local products are served within 48 hours of harvest. This program results in delicious and healthy food for guests, and stronger economies for the communities in which Bon Appétit operates.

Sustainable Seafood

Seafood at all Bon Appétit cafés is purchased in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines for sustainable seafood, which protect the ocean from over-fishing. Salmon is wild-caught and tuna is dolphin-safe. Locally sourced fish is the first choice for seafood purchase.

Antibiotic-Free and Natural Meats

Bon Appétit is actively working with ranchers to reduce the amount of drugs given to poultry, cows and pigs. The company purchases only poultry that has been produced without the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics that belong to classes of compounds approved for use in human medicine. Beef and pork are free of antibiotics as a first preference. Free-range, organic and grass-fed meat from local sources is served at many locations.

"Adopting a groundbreaking antibiotics policy is no easy feat," said Millie Chu Baird, policy specialist at Environmental Defense, who nominated Bon Appétit for the award. "This type of support and leadership for sustainable food sourcing is exemplary, and deserves to be recognized."

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