...if there's no fish then there's no fish and chips!
The NFFF has identified sustainabilty as a key business area the fish frying industry can embrace - both as a way to improve business practices and also safeguard the future of the industry. If there's no fish then there's no fish and chips!
When thinking about the fish frying industry, in terms of the core product (fish) to be sustainable, the fishery must be managed in a way that allows the target fish population to be at a healthy enough level to be able to naturally reproduce at a rate that then allows fishing to continue indefinitely without overexploiting the resources.
To certify sustainability, the most recognised method is through working with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
The MSC 'Blue tick' ecolabel is the most trusted and recognised indicator of seafood sustainability and is used to show that seafood has come from an independently certified sustainable fishery. The blue tick is becoming increasingly familiar to consumers, can be awarded at any point of the supply chain, to fisheries, suppliers and vendors and is really the most trusted way of knowing that your fish is responsibly sourced.
For a fish and chip shop to display the MSC Ecolabel it will need to attain Chain of Custody.
For the 'Truth about Cod' created by Sea Fish for customers to see the journey the fish takes and how it is responsibly source click here
For the 'Truth about Cod' created by Sea Fish for training your staff into the insight of how sustainable fishing takes place click here
MSC Chain of custody
To ensure its integrity, wherever the ecolabel is used within a fish and chip shop, every link in the supply chain has to be certified to the MSC Chain of Custody standard for seafood traceability.
As a restaurant or take-away, you are the last link in that supply chain, and your business will also need to be audited to show it meets the MSC Chain of Custody standard. Audits are carried out by independent certifiers, also known as auditors.
At the moment over 60 fish and chip shop/restaurants currently hold MSC Chain of Custody.
You can now join this list and achieve chain of
custody certification through the NFFF. To learn more about the process and
costs of getting MSC certification for your business, visit the
MSC certification page on the NFFF website.
NFFF Sustainable pledge
In May 2012 the NFFF was granted an audience with a rather famous fish and chip fan - His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, or the Duke of Rothesay as he is known in Scotland.
This high profile meeting with His Royal Highness was convened by one of the Princes' Trusts ecological projects, The International Sustainability Unit (ISU). The aim of the meeting was to discuss practical ways in which the fish and chip sector can help to ensure sustainably sourced fish stays at the top of the menu and in the mind of the consumer, in turn ensuring the preservation of fish stocks for future generations and the future supply of our industry.
Warm, friendly and full of enthusiasm for our sector, a number of ideas to promote sustainability and fish and chips were discussed with HRH, but one of the key outcomes of the meeting was that NFFF President Gregg Howard formally agreed to producing a Responsible Sourcing Code which will be drawn up by the NFFF in conjunction with the Young Fish Friers group and Good Catch Award winners.
Fish and chip shops throughout the UK will then be urged to meet these good practices in fish sourcing, to help ensure that the fish they are serving has come from well managed sustainable fisheries. Realising this will mean working with suppliers, supporting well managed fisheries and educating shop owners and consumers alike.
Please see below for the full list of actions from the meeting...
The NFFF is committed to promoting sustainability in the following ways:-
To develop a Responsible Sourcing Code to be shared with all NFFF members
Work with wholesalers and suppliers to support the Code
NFFF to work with MSC on group certification programme. Goal: To realise 500 shops with Chain of Custody by 2020.
NFFF to work with Young Friers and Good Catch winners on training and communications to NFFF members
NFFF to work with ISU, MSC, suppliers, Good Catch winners and Young Friers to promote responsible sourcing.
NFFF to develop specialist section on website, dedicated to good fisheries management and responsible sourcing.
On the day The NFFF also joined over 120 other signatories from around the world in signing up to the Prince's International Sustainability Unit's global declaration on good fisheries. Click here to read the document.
When discussing sustainability, fish sourcing may instantly spring to mind, but there are also a number of other ways that fish and chip shops can embrace this concept.
Helping restaurants find the right suppliers is a key part of the SRA's role, but it is a role not limited to the food. The SRA looks at sustainability across the board, under three main headings - Sourcing, Environment and Society and can help restaurants find waste management companies, alternative energy suppliers or even dishwashers that are more water and energy efficient. Those are just some of the examples of the practical dedicated support this not for profit organisation can provide.
The SRA also aid restaurants communicate their message to customers, manage their staff responsibly and play a part in the wider community and are currently working with some of the country's leading fish and chip businesses helping them to become more sustainable. These include: Colman's, The Bay, Enoch's and Olley's Fish Experience amongst others.
There are plenty of organisations whose job help fish and chip shops to become more sustainble, both in their sourcing and practices
This is the first port of call to learn about seafood sustainability. A wealth of resources, links and advice on how to get sustainable
||The Marine Stewardship Council
The website of the Marine Stewardship Council, home to the official list of all certified fisheries, suppliers and restaurants.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association
A national, not-for-profit membership association, providing restaurants with advice and support to help them navigate the whole spectrum of sustainability issues.
Seafish provide excellent documentation and resources on all things Sustainable including regularly updated Responsible sourcing guides for each common species, to help you make informed sourcing and menu planning.
||International Sustainability Unit
Headed by HRH Prince Charles The ISU's Marine Programme was initiated to help strengthen consensus around the best solutions for the sustainable management of wild marine fish stocks, and to catalyse action in pursuit of these through partnerships between the public sector, the fishing industry, the wider private sector and NGOs.
||FishOnline / Marine Conservation Society
An online resource for Seafood sustainability hosted by the Marine Conservation Society, The UK charity dedicated to caring for our seas, shores and wildlife.
SeaWeb is the only international, nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to using the science of communications to fundamentally shift the way people interact with the ocean.
Seafood Choices Alliance is an international program that provides leadership and creates opportunities for change across the seafood industry and ocean conservation community.
Sustainability in Action
The MSC and SRA work closely with Calum Richardson at his multi-award winning restaurant The Bay in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.
"It's not just about doing the right thing for the right reasons. You don't go into this business with altruism at heart. Running a restaurant sustainably is another way of saying you're managing it efficiently. By switching to green energy, having our oil collected, recycling our food waste and cooking with high efficiency fryers, we are making considerable savings".
Calum Richardson - The Bay