First UK catering group receives MSC certification

CH&Co. has become the first British catering group to receive certification Marine Stewardship Council certification.

The MSC certification is a significant achievement for the CH&Co. business given the diversity of its offering, which ranges from day visitor catering for venues such as ZSL London Zoo, fine dining, high end event hospitality and traditional livery company dining to high volume workplace meals. The business units that now carry the MSC certification are Charlton House, Lusso, Chester Boyd, ITA and Ampersand.

CH&Co. business units can now display the MSC eco-label on menus alongside MSC-certified fish dishes.

One of the first steps CH&Co. took to obtain MSC certifcaiton was to revise which fish species were being offered on its menus and switched to pole-and-line caught tuna, both canned and fresh.

In a separate initiative to promote under-utilized species of fish, CH&Co.’s niche city and fine dining business — Lusso — subsequently championed Ugly Fish Friday. The initiative saw Lusso chefs positively promote these under used, wild species of fish such as Gunard, Dabs and Whiting that are often discarded on selected Fridays.

In January 2013, CH&Co. rolled out similar initiatives to Ugly Fish Friday to its other business units.  CH&Co. was then able to sign up to the Sustainable Fish City pledge, committing to remove all endangered fish from its menus and to promote the use of demonstrably sustainable fish, such as Marine Stewardship Council certified fish.

“CH&Co. has made a remarkable achievement. It has demonstrated that having a sustainable sourcing strategy can be good for business as well as good for the environment. Putting MSC labeled fish on the menu not only means that those fish served are certified sustainable, it also ensures diners recognize which dishes are the ethical choice and helps them to recognize the commitment CH&Co. has made,” George Clark, MSC UK commercial manager.

“We are delighted to have achieved certification from the MSC. Having witnessed the success of initiatives such as Ugly Fish Friday, it seemed logical that we should aim to uphold these standards across all of our businesses. Having robust sustainability credentials makes good business sense and is a concept that employees and clients want.  We’re delighted that we have turned this concept into a realistic achievement,” Caroline Fry, CH&Co. business and industry CEO.


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