Major U.S. hospitality supplier Aramark is committing to increase local seafood sourcing in New England via a partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI).
Coinciding with the start of National Seafood Month, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.-based Aramark said in a press release that all of its higher education, healthcare, and business dining accounts in New England will pursue several local sustainable sourcing goals over the next three years.
“Fishing communities across New England work hard to harvest seafood responsibly from our waters, and when a company like Aramark makes a commitment to purchasing fish locally, it has an important impact by giving local seafood a leg up in a very global marketplace,” GMRI Senior Program Manager of the Sustainable Seafood Program Kyle Foley said.
Aramark’s new goals include:
- 100 percent of fresh and frozen whitefish purchases, by volume, will be caught/grown and processed in the New England region.
- At least 75 percent of all whitefish species purchased will be verified Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested species. Whitefish species that are part of this commitment include American plaice, Atlantic pollock, Atlantic spiny dogfish, haddock (Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine), monkfish, redfish, white hake, whiting (silver hake), and winter skate.
- Aramark will require its primary suppliers in New England for higher education, healthcare, and business dining accounts to participate as licensed dealers with the Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested program.
- All whitefish products/species will continue to meet Aramark’s sustainable seafood policy
of Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program green- or yellow-rated products, or products recommended by Seafood Watch.
- Aramark will report detailed progress on whitefish purchasing annually to GMRI, including sales volume for all New England accounts in those sectors.
Guided by its sustainable seafood policy, Aramark strives to buy seafood from sources, whether fished or farmed, that maintain healthy marine life and ecosystems, and respect seafood workers and communities throughout the supply chain, the company said in a press release.
“By prioritizing whitefish species that are verified Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested species, the whitefish Aramark serves in New England is traceable to fishing communities in the Gulf of Maine region, and has been verified to meet important criteria around responsible harvest,” Aramark Regional Vice President Brisbane Vaillancourt said. “Guests choosing seafood with this label are directly supporting local fishermen and promoting a healthy ecosystem.”
Photo courtesy of Gulf of Maine Research Institute