Compass Group pulls ‘unethical’ foie gras from menus
Compass Group, the UK’s largest catering company, has removed foie gras from all its menus and ensured that it is not available to its chefs.
The company confirmed this week that the controversial delicacy, which it said had been used by a small proportion of Compass sites, has now been removed from its approved product list (APL).
Ian Sarson, group managing director, Compass Group UK and Ireland, said: “I am really proud that, as a business, we have taken the decision to cut foie gras from our menus. Ethically we feel strongly that we should not be sourcing this product and this has been backed up by the support we’ve received across the organisation.”
Nick Vadis, UK executive chef for Compass Group UK and Ireland, said that chefs had an amazing array of outstanding ingredients to choose from when developing menus. He said: “With this variety of produce now available to us, I don’t believe there is a need to put foie gras on our menus given how it is produced, and I am very pleased that Compass has decided to remove it from its APL.”
The move has been welcome by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) UK, which has conducted an online campaign for companies, including Compass, to drop foie gras.
Peta UK associate director Mimi Bekhech said: “We’re delighted that Compass Group has found its ‘moral compass’ and has agreed that serving up the grotesquely enlarged livers of force-fed ducks and geese is indefensible.”
Foie gras production has been banned in more than 15 countries, including the UK, as the force-fed method used to produce the enlarged livers, known as gavage, is widely thought to be cruel. Many retailers and high-end restaurants also refuse to stock it on the grounds of animal cruelty, including the major UK retailers, online retailer Ocado, and luxury foodhalls Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
Last year a diplomatic row broke out after organisers at Anuga, the largest international food trade show, banned foie gras at the event. The ban affected French, Bulgarian and Hungarian producers at the fair, and caused the French, who produce large quantities of foie gras, to insist that France “rigorously followed” animal welfare regulations.