Bon Appétit ups sustainable seafood stakes
Bon Appétit Management Co. on Tuesday announced that it’s rolling out a new set of seafood-purchasing guidelines for its more than 400 cafés in 31 U.S. states as part of its new Fish to Fork sustainable seafood program.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based foodservice management company — which caters to corporations, universities and specialty venues — is reevaluating what “local” and “small-scale” mean for both wild and farmed seafood, with an eye toward identifying underutilized and underappreciated species; amberjack and blue catfish were cited as examples.
The Fish to Fork program prioritizes fishing and aquaculture practices that are small-scale, biodiverse and energy conscious, according to Bon Appétit. Among the initiative’s guidelines are the ability to trace product from boat or farm to Bon Appétit kitchens; buying only from individually owned and operated boats and from farms that gross less than USD 5 million per species per year; buying only from boats that travel no more than 100 miles out to sea per trip and from farms that are located no more than 500 miles by truck to Bon Appétit kitchens; and giving preference to species that are lower on the food chain such as sardines and oysters and to underutilized and underappreciated species.
Bon Appétit is no stranger to the sustainable seafood movement, committing in 2002 to serve only seafood that meets Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines.
“Bon Appétit’s new program is a good example of what a truly comprehensive sustainable seafood purchasing policy could look like,” said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of Seafood Watch, in a press release.
Michael Passmore, owner of Passmore Ranch, a small sturgeon, bass, trout, and carp and catfish farm near Sacramento, Calif., also lauded the Fish to Fork program. “In the year that Bon Appétit’s chefs at Marvell, VSP, eBay, Oracle, Stanford, Yahoo and elsewhere have been buying my fish, they’ve become our ranch’s largest single restaurant customer,” he said. “Knowing Bon Appétit’s commitment to purchasing fresh, quality local fish has given us the confidence to invest in building our own processing plant.”