Press release

Partner release: Raymond Blanc celebrates with top catering company CH&Co as 22,000 people are to be served sustainable fish

January 21, 2013

Raymond Blanc OBE, ambassador of the Sustainable Fish City campaign [1] congratulated leading workplace caterer CH&Co [2] on its adoption of a raft of new commitments to serve sustainable fish across all its sites. CH&Co provides at-work catering to some 80 businesses across the UK including Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Thames Water and Sony and event catering at top venues including eight of London’s highly esteemed livery halls as well as some of the leading attractions in London and beyond, serving an estimated 45,000 meals per day.

CH&Co has committed to removing endangered fish from its menus [3] and will promote the use of demonstrably sustainable fish, such as Marine Conservation Society ‘green list’ fish and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish. CH&Co has also committed to achieving Marine Stewardship Council chain of custody across all sites, to enable it to verify and promote these achievements using the blue MSC ecolabel.

The announcement was made at the Sustainable Fish City Forum held at Fishmongers’ Hall, an annual gathering of chefs, restaurateurs and conservation organisations convened by top chef Raymond Blanc OBE and organised by Sustainable Fish City – the campaign for London to become the first city in the world that buys, serves and eats only sustainable fish.

Great news

Raymond Blanc said, “Our aim is to see sustainable fish cities all over the UK, providing a large-scale and reliable market for sustainably managed fisheries. CH&Co is helping us to achieve that by proving that serving sustainable fish is good for business. This is great news for fish, fishermen and marine wildlife. A big thank you to CH&Co.”

Building on commitments

Caroline Fry, CH&Co Chief Executive for Business & Industry said “These commitments build on our 2010 commitment to serve only pole and line caught tuna, and last year’s hugely successful Ugly Fish Friday sustainability initiative. CH&Co was the first major caterer to take cod off the menu amid concerns over dwindling stocks and we are delighted to be in a position to make this pledge and support Sustainable Fish City. We have long been known for healthy, delicious food, but are increasingly finding that clients look for a differentiator in terms of sustainability and the environment when choosing a caterer, so we know it is the right thing to do for the environment and also for our business”

Rosie Boycott, Chair of the London Food Board [4] that advises the Mayor of Londo,n Boris Johnson, on healthy and sustainable food, including sustainable fish, said: “CH&Co’s commitment is an excellent example of business supporting sustainable fisheries and being a good corporate citizen. Our aim for London as a Sustainable Fish City has come so far so quickly because of commitments like this by influential companies. I hope CH&Co will inspire many more caterers and other businesses to use their buying power to support sustainable fisheries.”

Promoting sustainable practices around the world

Ruth Westcott, from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), commented, “By making this commitment, particularly to MSC certification, the catering company CH&Co is helping to promote sustainable fishing practices around the world. Its support of certified sustainable fisheries and its influence with fisheries and suppliers that aren’t yet certified is vital to transforming global fisheries to a sustainable basis. Together with CH&Co, we can help to ensure that fish supplies are safeguarded for today’s and future generations”.

Jim Masters, Fisheries and Aquaculture Programme Manager for the Marine Conservation Society, said: “CH&Co is helping to reduce the demand for over-exploited fish from poorly managed fisheries by avoiding fish that have been red-listed. Large-scale changes to company fish buying policies are critical to help support a shift away from poor fishery management to sustainable management of precious marine resources and wildlife.”

End

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Kath Dalmeny, kath@sustainweb.org; 020 7837 1228; mobile: 07989 557982

[1] The Sustainable Fish City campaign (www.sustainablefishcity.net) was launched in January 2011, and has already received sustainable fish pledges from organisations serving well over 100 million meals per year. This followed the adoption by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games of a fully sustainable fish policy, and the adoption by the GLA Group (Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Fire Brigade and the Greater London Authority – City Hall) of the London 2012 Food Vision, which includes a commitment to using demonstrably sustainable fish. In June 2011 the standards were adopted by the coalition government for one third of food served in public sector institutions such as Whitehall, government departments, Number 10, Parliament, prisons and some parts of the armed forces. For further details of pledge signatories, see: http://www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefishcity/whos_working_on_it/
The Sustainable Fish City pledge commits the catering company CH&Co to:
•    Avoid the worst: Removing endangered species from menus and catering – those rated as ‘fish to avoid’ by the Marine Conservation Society: www.fishonline.org/advice/avoid/ (also known as the Marine Conservation Society ‘red list’)
•    Promote the best: Serving sustainably managed fish – Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish, gaining Marine Stewardship Council chain of custody, and those rated as ‘fish to eat’ by the Marine Conservation Society: www.fishonline.org/advice/eat/ (also known as the Marine Conservation Society ‘green list’)
•    Improve the rest: Telling suppliers they want to serve only sustainable fish – and that there are organisations that can help them to do this, such as Good Catch: www.goodcatch.org.uk and the Marine Stewardship Council: www.msc.org

[2] CH&Co is a leading independent catering group with six specialist brands: Charlton House (staff catering at B&I sites), Lusso (City and fine dining), Chester Boyd (livery halls and private venues), It’s the Agency (venues and events booking agency), Ampersand (public and event catering at iconic & private venues) and Via 360 (bespoke reception services). Current annual turnover stands at £95 million and the group employs almost 2,000 people nationwide. www.chandco.net

[3] The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. The voice for our seas for almost 30 years, MCS champions protection for marine wildlife, sustainable fisheries and clean seas and beaches. See their website at: www.mcsuk.org.

[4] The London Food Board is an advisory group of independent food policy organisations and experts that oversees the implementation of The Mayor’s Food Strategy: Healthy and Sustainable Food for London, published in 2006, and to co-ordinate work and lead the debate on sustainable food issues in the capital. The London Food Board is chaired by Rosie Boycott, the Mayor of London’s food advisor, and is supported by Greater London Authority’s Food Team. For more information, see: www.london.gov.uk/london-food/general/what-london-food-board. The London Food Board supports Sustainable Fish City as an affiliate organisation.

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