Seafood is a key addition to many a caterer’s menu, but consider this: today, over 70% of fish species are either ‘fully exploited, overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion’. That’s according to Wikipedia, which suggests some practical strategies to ensure a positive future for marine life.
Meanwhile, The National Geographic advises: ‘In order to continue relying on the ocean as an important food source, economists and conservationists say we will need to employ sustainable fishing practices.’ After all, fish offers many benefits for chefs and/or diners, including the fact it’s:
- a vital source of protein
- delicious and easy to prepare
- a reliable source of iodine, potassium and phosphorus.
Thankfully, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is on a mission to end overfishing. Helping future generations ‘enjoy the wild seafood we love by choosing certified sustainable sea food with the blue fish label’, it encourages us to ‘leave enough fish in the ocean, respect habitats and ensure people who depend on fishing can maintain their livelihoods’.
The blue fish label is only applied to wild fish or seafood from fisheries certified to the MSC Fisheries Standard, which includes the fact it’s handled with care – at every step of the supply chain – and is trustworthy, thanks to correct labelling.
DISHING UP SUSTAINABILITY
For chefs, it’s about ensuring you customers can enjoy products that aren’t just manufactured and served to high standards; they meet relevant legal requirements, too. Quality and customer satisfaction don’t simply start and end when the dish is served. Instead, it includes the morale of employees, the working environment of those involved in plating up food, and, of course, the lifecycle of the food being served.
The MSC standard ensures that everything throughout the entire chain is in line with the standard – and because it is improved with time, companies need to re-apply for all-important accreditation.
Helping the environment and ensuring consumers can make the right choices about what they eat, the standard ensures chefs can prepare quality meals that abide by a respected industry standard, while diners can tuck in minus the guilt.
With outlets like Forbes advising consumers how they can do their bit in response to concerns about over-fishing, it’s up to caterers to let their customers know their meals meet the standard – but only if that’s the case.
How are you alleviating the issue? If you haven’t yet incorporated MSC-accredited fish in your menu yet, maybe it’s time you became hooked on the idea. After all, consumers expect restaurants and cafes to give them the opportunity to make healthier, happier choices.
SUSTAINABLY-SOURCED FISH IS A MUST
At Fairway Foodservice, three of our seafood products – Luxury Cold Water Prawns 14% Glaze, Cold Water Prawns 40% Glaze, and White Fish – possess the globally-recognised MSC certification standard. It’s vital that the tasty white fish we supply to schools and hospitals is MSC-approved.
Consumers are becoming far more clued up, which means that, for caterers, it’s more important than ever that the fish they plate up is MSC-approved – and the standards set by the organisation are updated every few years to ensure they stay relevant.