PLAINVIEW, N.Y —CulinArt Group is partnering with Karp Resources in an effort to increase its sustainability programs, partnerships, and activities across the company, following a number of years leading the dining services industry in working with clients on sustainability initiatives.
Led by Karen Karp, the team at Karp Resources is now in its second year of working closely with CulinArt’s President Thomas Eich, Director of Wellness Rachel Frank, and several on-site food service directors to gather baseline data and develop a strategic plan that will enable CulinArt to advance in the areas of procurement, waste reduction, energy and water use, education and more.
Making sustainability—an outgrowth of its existing health and wellness platform—a pillar within its mission allows CulinArt the flexibility to partner with clients looking to expand and intensify their own sustainability goals. At the same time, CulinArt continues to raise the bar and challenge itself on many sustainability issues often regarded as roadblocks in the contract dining industry.
“We are very aware, as a company, that sustainability is a journey, not a destination—Karen has imparted that to us. However, as the food industry continues to evolve, it is a paramount piece of the food paradigm puzzle and one that we embrace as we go to market,” notes Eich. “Not everyone everywhere is at the same place or pace, but we are committed to continuing to develop green dining initiatives that work towards a sustainable future.”
Based in New York and working nationally, Karp Resources has outlined a realistic and stepped approach for CulinArt in 2015 and beyond. “We want to remain cognizant of some of the obstacles for companies such as CulinArt,” says Karp, “Still, we feel we have provided a very real and highly achievable plan for sustainability leadership.” Responsible sourcing is at the top of the list of CulinArt’s goals, with a first quarter review and revamp of CulinArt’s seafood purchases. The company aims to shift 50% or more of its fresh fish purchases to follow Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program or be Marine Stewardship Certified, and has set a goal of 25% for 2015. Also on tap for 2015 is identifying more sustainable egg, poultry, pork, beef and produce suppliers.
Karp, with more than 25 years of specialty food retail, agriculture, and restaurant experience, has helped to build CulinArt’s sustainability mission on three pillars: food, stewardship and experiences. Karp explains, “Going forward, we will work with both CulinArt’s leadership team and on-site managers and chefs to develop practices that reflect the company’s growing commitment in all aspects of sustainability. From company-wide procurement decisions to client-site events that highlight responsible choices, to deeper partnerships with clients, CulinArt has a unique and exciting opportunity to advance sustainable behaviors both internally and for its clients.”