Bento Nouveau commits to sustainability

Canada’s largest sushi company on Wednesday pledged to purchase 100 percent of its seafood from sustainable sources by 2012 and announced its new alliance with the SeaChoice sustainable seafood program.

Bento Nouveau said it is taking a multi-pronged approach to its sustainable seafood initiative, including removing non-sustainable species from the menu and replacing them with sustainable ones; for example, the company switched from threatened tuna species to sustainably harvested albacore tuna. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of its product offerings are already deemed sustainable, said Bento Nouveau.

Sustainable seafood products will be identified by a SeaChoice label. SeaChoice was established in 2006 by the David Suzuki Foundation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Ecology Action Centre, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club British Columbia and works in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Canadian retailers Federated Co-operatives and Overwaitea Food Group have also partnered with SeaChoice.

“In doing this, we are responding to consumer values,” said Bento Nouveau President Carl Sparkes. “Research shows us that people want to buy seafood that is caught or farmed in ways that support the long-term health of stocks and of the oceans.”

Bento Nouveau serves more than 10 million servings of sushi annually through a network of 30 quick-service grab-and-go sushi bars in shopping malls and office buildings, more than 350 onsite sushi bars in supermarkets and restaurants and at more than 2,000 supermarket and institutional foodservice locations.

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