Fairmont follows through on sustainability pledge
By Lauren Kramer, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Vancouver, British Columbia
25 June, 2012
When you oversee food and beverages for a sizeable hotel chain like Fairmont, decisions pertaining to seafood buying can have a large impact, touching some 43 properties and their restaurants, in-room dining, bars and banquet departments across the Americas. So when Fairmont rolled out its seafood sustainability initiative in 2009, its affect was widespread. The initiative mandated that chefs no longer procure or serve Chilean sea bass or bluefin tuna, and that they align themselves locally with reputable organizations to ensure they make sustainable seafood choices for their respective properties.
In a press release issued at the time, the company declared its “commitment to ocean sustainability means working with reputable suppliers who purchase fish that are resilient to fishing pressure and harvested in ways that limit damage to marine or aquatic habitats. Fairmont will also make it easier for guests to make informed food choices by identifying responsible seafood choices on its restaurant menus.”
For some properties, like the Fairmont Sonoma Mission & Spa in Sonoma, Calif., the initiative resulted in only a few changes and tweaks to the menu.
“All our seafood is sustainable and wild, and even for our employees’ meals, we only buy frozen, wild fish if we can’t get it fresh,” says Bruno Tison, executive chef. For other properties, it meant more drastic changes. The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia, switched to purchasing 90 percent of its seafood according to the recommendations of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program. “The challenges in having an Ocean Wise menu are an increase in our costs and limited product availability,” reflects Kamal Silva, executive chef. “But the overall value perceived by guests is that we care about the sustainability of the world’s oceans.”
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25 June, 2012