Viewpoint: First Wales, then the world, says Jane Byrd of Compass

17 June 2021
Viewpoint: First Wales, then the world, says Jane Byrd of Compass

Covid-19 has escalated a shift in the way people view the ethics and locality of food, which is why Compass is thinking regionally. Jane Byrd explains why Compass Cymru and Compass Scotland are key to supporting local industry.

The way in which we do business is changing. Consumers, clients and employee expectations are evolving rapidly, as people seek to align with organisations that match their own values.

This change hasn't come as a surprise. At Compass Group UK & Ireland, we endeavour to ‘do the right thing'. We have commitments that span people, sustainability and supporting communities, which have become part of our DNA and demonstrate our ethics.

While the impact of Covid-19 has hit us all hard, some benefits have come from it, too. We've seen an upsurge in solidarity, community spirit and an increasing importance placed on the environment. With this has come an enhanced desire to support local: local businesses, local suppliers and local people.

At the end of 2020, Compass Scotland was launched, followed by the introduction of Compass Cymru earlier this year, plus we have an already established business in Ireland. We are putting a focus on the regions, recognising the many benefits of regional sourcing and supporting the local economies and communities in which we operate. This is a major milestone, not just for Compass, but also for Wales and Scotland.

Over the last 18 months, we have seen the power of collaboration and the positive impact it has had on business. Compass Cymru has been designed to make us more connected, more resilient and more competitive. We recognise that a post-Covid-19 world will need to be one built on trust and transparency, and a regional approach will support this while helping economic recovery, as well as supporting local industry.

Our Compass Group UK & Ireland business recently announced its bold Climate Net Zero target, with a commitment to reach Climate Net Zero by 2030.

This comes with a promise to create a sustainable food system, including plans to source more local and seasonal ingredients from regenerative agriculture and reduce food miles. This will only be possible through maximising the work we do on a regional level.

As we provide the best in food and drink to a wide range of businesses and customers, we showcase Wales' natural larder and act as an essential supporter of local economies, increasingly working with Welsh suppliers. Through leveraging our supply chain, we are also helping to improve standards in things like food safety and animal welfare.

With the adaptability of a local company, and the strength of a global business, Compass Cymru is celebrating Welsh provenances and championing fresh, seasonal, local and sustainable produce. I'm incredibly excited to be playing a part in this regional approach – keeping the Welsh agenda front and centre in all that we do within the country.

Jane Byrd is managing director of Compass Cymru

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