AIRLINES ARE not often synonymous with sustainability, but Virgin Atlantic Airways has just become the first to agree to have its food operations assessed.
The Sustainable Restaurants Association (SRA) will rate the airline’s entire global catering operation for its sustainability.
The SRA has worked with Virgin Atlantic to adapt its restaurant “sustainability rating” to match the unique nature of in-flight catering. But the focus remains on the three main pillars of product, planet and people.
An SRA spokesman said that this “first for the airline industry means passengers, whose dining choices are limited once on the plane, can be confident of the provenance of the food they are eating and how it was produced”.
The scheme will be rolled out across Virgin Atlantic’s international markets, with all of its caterers worldwide rated by the SRA by the end of the year.
Reuben Arnold, director of customer experience at Virgin Atlantic, said the SRA ratings will allow the airline to understand how “we and our global suppliers are performing on [food procurement] and how to work closely together to drive improvements.
“Value for money and quality of product are of course hugely important factors, but our passengers now rightly demand that we look beyond that, and ensure we are making the most sustainable choices,” he added.