The Foley Fish Company, renowned, family-owned, Massachusetts seafood business, obtains MSC certification
Nov 13, 2012
The Marine Stewardship Council announced today that The Foley Fish Company, a fourth generation, family-owned, New England seafood business, renowned for its commitment to quality and stewardship, has obtained Chain of Custody certification in the Marine Stewardship Council program. The company sells to fine dining restaurants, resorts, hotels and specialty retailers across the country.
The Foley Fish Company is an active participant in fishery management. Laura Foley Ramsden, owner of Foley Fish serves on the New England Fishery Management Council and Bill Gerencer, Foley’s Portland, Maine fish buyer serves as the chairman of the Northeast Groundfish Advisory Panel and on the Highly Migratory Species Panel. Laura Foley Ramsden, great granddaughter of founder Michael Foley, said MSC certification is a natural step for the company as it has a deep commitment to protecting ocean resources and to meeting the needs of their customers for seafood that is harvested sustainably.
“We are excited to announce our participation in MSC as part of our three-prong effort to support sustainable seafood – we participate actively as fishery managers, we promote local sustainable species through our own traceability program for New England fish and shellfish and, now MSC can help us promote species that are harvested sustainably beyond our local waters,” said Ramsden.
Kerry Coughlin, MSC regional director, Americas, said, “The Foley Fish Company is recognized nationally as a leader in the seafood business and their participation in the Marine Stewardship Council program will expand awareness of seafood sustainability with buyers across the United States. As a multi-generation, family-run company, Foley Fish has a unique appreciation for good stewardship of resources and the importance of ensuring a legacy for the next generation. Laura Foley Ramsden and others at the company continue the commitment to protecting ocean resources established by her great grandfather 106 years ago. The company serves as an important voice for preservation of wild fish stocks and we welcome them into the MSC program.”
The Foley Fish Company has processing plants in Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts and, since 1985, the company has operated the Foley School of Fish, which is accredited by the American Culinary Federal Educational Institute, educating customers and chefs in every facet of seafood handling from hook to skillet. The company recently launched a program that enables buyers to use a QR code to see the boat and crew that landed the seafood they are purchasing.
With MSC Chain of Custody certification, the Foley Fish Company will immediately begin to supply customers with MSC-certified Chilean sea bass and the company expects to expand its offerings of MSC-certified products in the months ahead.
The MSC Chain of Custody certification is a comprehensive traceability program that traces seafood from the point of sale back to an MSC-certified fishery. It ensures that MSC-labeled products are sourced from a fishery that is MSC certified, and it protects buyers and the fishery from fraudulent labeling and risks from fisheries carrying products from illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. As a result, the sustainability of the seafood product is ensured, the MSC-certified fishery of origin receives well-deserved recognition, and incentive is created for other fisheries to commit to environmentally responsible fishing practices.
To obtain MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, wholesalers and distributors must pass an independent, third party audit that is conducted by an accredited certification body, and it must undergo annual surveillance audits to demonstrate it continues to meet the standard. The CoC standard focuses on having an internal traceability system and reliable operational systems in place to ensure that MSC-certified seafood is kept separate from noncertified seafood. Worldwide, more than 1,800 companies have obtained Chain of Custody certification.