MSC in the UK
UK fisheries were among the first to support the MSC program, and there are now 7 certified and 13 more in assessment in England, Wales and Scotland. These fisheries supply a range of seafood for diverse markets, including chain retailers, London's restaurant trade and outlets in continental Europe. Several fisheries are also supplying local independent restaurants and fishmongers.
The UK supply chain is one of the most advanced in terms of MSC commitments, with the number of Chain of Custody holders approaching 100. This reflects the high level of interest in the retail sector as well as the growing interest from foodservice.
Retail and brands
The UK is the world’s leading retail market for MSC certified products. Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, and Waitrose have made public commitments to source from MSC-certified fisheries, with Asda and Marks & Spencer committing to future targets of 100%certified fish. Tesco and Morrisons also offer MSC-labelled products and have built MSC certification into their sourcing policies. Others such as the Co-op are similarly increasing the number of MSC-labelled products.
The Birds Eye and Young’s brands are setting the standard for producers, bringing the MSC label to millions more shoppers, including popular ranges of ready meals. The independent retail sector in the UK is also active. In the coastal town of Hastings, independent fishmonger Rock-a-Nore and Judge’s Bakery offer customers fish from the local MSC-certified Hastings fleet pelagic fishery and Hastings fleet Dover sole fishery.
There are now 12 key foodservice suppliers (3663, Ben’s Fish, Brakes, Direct Seafoods, Green Gourmet, Hastings CIC, M&J Seafood, Pure Organics, South Bank Fresh Fish, Whitby Seafood, Young’s) offering over 100 MSC certified products business-to-business in the UK, across a range of categories from fresh to frozen and canned. It is becoming much easier for restaurants, schools, hotels and pubs to find MSC certified products to suit their needs. In addition, leading contract caterers Sodexo have all of their fish-serving sites MSC certified.
Foodservice companies like Brakes, 3663, Young’s, and Green Gourmet are supplying thousands of schools with MSC-labelled fish. The MSC's Fish & Kids project brings sustainable seafood sourcing to schools and helps children learn about marine environmental issues and sustainable fishing. There are now around 4,000 schools that regularly use the MSC ecolabel on menu to show teachers and families sustainable lunch choices.
Fish and chip shops
There are now nine fish and chip shops the are MSC certified. Anstruther Fish Bar, The Bay (Stonehaven), Richardsons, Big Blue fish and chip shops (Wilmslow and Grappenhal), Rockfish, Harbour Lights (Falmouth), The Chip Box (Stewarton), Enochs Fish and Chips (Llandudno Junction), Land and Sea (Falkirk), Peckish fish and chips (Camelford).
Every McDonalds restaurant in the UK is MSC certified, selling MSC certified fillet-o-fish and fish fingers.
Find out how your company can get involved in the MSC program.