Compass Group USA has announced its intention to change its fish purchasing policy towards more environmentally sustainable sources of supply.

The company said that with effect from 1 March, it would be replacing Atlantic cod, which environmentalists fear is being over-fished, with Pacific cod, pollock and other alternatives. Compass said it would also seek to buy less shrimp and salmon that it considers is farmed in an unsustainable manner. In addition, the company said it will cease to buy all other ‘Avoid’ species from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list.

Compass, which claims to be the largest foodservice company to introduce a sustainable seafood purchasing policy on this scale, said that its new buying policy would impact on around 1m pounds of its total annual fish purchasing. The company said it expects the new policy to be fully implemented within three years.

“Compass Group is proud to embrace a sustainable seafood policy that will support the health of our oceans,” said Gary Green, CEO of Compass Group – The Americas Division. “When we learned about the significant impact that our purchasing shift could make, it was clear that this was the right thing to do.”