London menus get sustainable boost
By SeafoodSource staff
26 November, 2012
London-based seafood supplier, Southbank Fresh Fish, has launched a strategy that aims to cut through a lot of the misinformation that surrounds sustainable seafood to help chefs and caterers ensure the products they are sourcing are sustainable.
The Southbank Sustainability Initiative (SSI) works on two levels. First, Southbank will study in great depth the seafood offerings appearing on its customer’s menu to gauge the true origins of the species. Second, the supplier will help the customer understand the complexities of ethical and sustainable seafood and how these can further enhance their sourcing policy.
“There is so much information available about seafood sustainability, much of it contradictory, that chefs are understandably confused. Furthermore, many fisheries products will be sold to chefs as sustainable when the scientific proof of this claim doesn’t exist,” said, Matthew Couchman, sales manager and creator of SSI. “It is clear that restaurants and caterers want to do the right thing but many need help. With my background in fisheries science, I believe Southbank is perfectly placed to provide the comprehensive hands-on assistance that chefs need to provide their customers with seafood dishes that are not only delicious but that are also proven the be sustainable.”
Through SSI, the Southbank team thoroughly researches every fish product appearing on a chef’s menu, tracing it right the way back through every stage of the supply chain to ensure the fishery is genuinely sustainably-managed. They will obtain and comprehensively document details on the catch methods of the product and where it is landed.
In addition, Southbank will establish whether sustainability or eco-label certifications are in place for that fishery and/or the specific catching vessels, as well as where the product appears on the numerous high-profile consumer “fish-to-eat” and “fish-to-avoid” lists that are managed by international environmental organisations. Lastly, it will advise if there are any alternative products available that are proven to come from more responsibly-managed fisheries or aquaculture operations.
“It is not enough to only know which fishing area the product is coming from; that’s no proof of sustainability. But we can ascertain if a product is sustainable by asking the right questions about the fishery or the farm. The SSI is all about giving chefs and restaurateurs the confidence to ask the right questions. Southbank has always been proud of its ability to immerse itself in its customers’ business patterns, and through SSI we will work with chefs to demystify sustainability,” said Couchman.
26 November, 2012