Direct Seafoods offers advice to chefs on sourcing sustainably
As part of the National Chef of the Year mission to encourage the hospitality industry to be more sustainable we asked sponsor, Direct Seafoods to share tips on sustainable sourcing.
- Work with suppliers that care about the oceans. We have some of the leading experts in sustainability in our business and there are many others working in wholesalers and fishmongers across the UK. Use your supplier for advice on sustainable species, as well as for alternatives to non-sustainable fish currently on menus.
- Make the provenance and sustainability of the fish and seafood you serve a selling point, using menus and specials boards to tell customers where and when it was caught.
- Ask your fishmonger or wholesaler exactly what you are buying. Check by comparing what you are buying with Marine Conservation Society guidelines: www.mcsuk.org/goodfishguide/search
- Keep a record, and regularly check the sustainability rating of the products you buy, including fish and seafood. This will help give you an overview of the overall sustainability of your menu.
- Make sure all chefs and front of house team know about the sustainable seafood you use on your menu so they can answer customer questions. Ensure they understand issues such as the difference between farmed and non-farmed fish.
- Highlight the sustainable seafood credentials of your business on your menus, websites and on social media. This is particularly important when there is national media coverage or campaigns around these issues.
- Consider the benefits of using farmed species over wild-caught fish where available. Aquaculture is increasingly important to food sustainability. Chefs should check for proper certification, such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards (www.asc-aqua.org), to ensure that all is in order.
Check for updates regularly, as sustainability advice for specific species can change. Work with a supplier who can offer you the latest information, such as Direct Seafoods - www.directseafoods.co.uk/sustainability/