p. Pilot program is venue’s boldest sustainable food & beverage initiative yet

ANAHEIM, CA (July 18, 2009) – ARAMARK at The Anaheim Convention Center today announced the purchase of a herd of cattle from Hearst Ranch, the nation’s largest single-source supplier of free-range, all-natural, grass-fed and grass-finished beef. The purchase of 75 cattle, the first of its kind among convention centers, is the most recent enhancement to the facility’s industry-leading sustainability practices.

The Anaheim Convention Center is constantly exploring ways to develop innovative and cost-effective programs that benefit its clients and customers. This partnership with Hearst Ranch provides the Anaheim Convention Center and ARAMARK — the convention center’s exclusive caterer — with a supply of prime cut beef products that will meet the demand of the center’s catering operation, while continuing to promote the use of natural and sustainable products. ARAMARK at The Anaheim Convention Center and Hearst Ranch have been partners since 2004.

“This purchase is another example of how the Anaheim Convention Center and ARAMARK continue to be sustainable practice trailblazers,” said Jim Tripp, ARAMARK General Manager at the Anaheim Convention Center. “We’re using a local supplier to reduce our carbon footprint, the cattle are raised in a sustainable environment consistent with the benchmarks that we’ve established, and owning our own herd provides us greater control of the supply chain.”
Executive Chef, Otis Huemmer adds “The flavor profile surpasses the conventional products. The rich flavor content of the grass-fed and finished beef is unique and is very evident in grilled or roasted dishes.”

Sourcing live cattle rather than purchasing specific cuts of beef provides the facility greater cost consistency and availability because the herd is wholly owned by ARAMARK at the convention center. As part of the pilot program, Hearst Ranch will continue to manage the convention center’s herd. The cattle – a mix of Hereford, Angus and Shorthorn breeds – are grass-fed, free-range and hormone- and antibiotic-free. They graze among the 1,000-head herd at the 80,000-acre San Simeon Ranch, part of Hearst Ranch, which is a member of the American Grassfed Association and holds certifications by Humane Farm Animal Care and Food Alliance. The purchase is expected to provide beef to the facility for four months, beginning in August.

Purchasing cattle is another sustainability first for the Anaheim Convention Center. In 2004, Anaheim became the country’s first convention center to become a full partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program by committing to source seafood without compromising species survival or the health of surrounding ecosystems.

All of the convention center’s coffee comes from sustainable sources certified by the Rainforest Alliance, and the facility also uses local dairy farms for a selection of regional cheeses, area farms for fresh California produce and a local Temecula vineyard for its house wine. Additionally, Anaheim utilizes bulk condiment dispensing, post-consumer recycled napkins and biodegradable serviceware. The convention center is also a Forest Stewardship Council partner committed to environmentally friendly office supplies sourcing and use.