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Sustainable Seafood celebrated at MSC UK’s annual awards ceremony

Major retailers and brands hailed for their outstanding achievements as four new categories introduced 

Tesco has reclaimed the crown for Supermarket of the Year in the Marine Stewardship Council’s annual UK awards for continuing to increase the number of MSC labelled products and species on its shelves. 

Woofs won Pet Food Brand of the Year, in one of four new categories introduced this year, as animal lovers are increasingly choosing seafood options which are good for their pets and the ocean too. 

Lidl scooped MSC UK Mid-size store Retailer of the year as well as Aquaculture Stewardship Council UK Retailer of the Year in the first year the guest category from ASC has been introduced in recognition of the progress made by the farmed seafood sector over the past year. 

The annual awards, now in their 8th year, were streamed for a second-year running from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth on October 7, 2021.  

MSC UK ambassador, acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author, Mitch Tonks, was on the expert judging panel along with CJ Jackson, chief executive of Billingsgate Seafood School, Marcus Coleman chief executive of Seafish and Dr Eleanor Adamson, Fisheries Programme Manager at the Fishmongers’ Company. 

Waitrose picked up two awards – Fish Counter of the Year and also Product of the Year – another newly introduced category – for its No. 1 Yellowfin Tuna which was launched in March this year – the first chilled MSC yellowfin available in a UK retailer. 

In marketing, Sainsbury’s won Marketing Champion of the Year for their launch of an online MSC supermarket shelf, while the Co-op achieved Social Media Hero of the Year for its innovative and personal social media posts promoting their MSC certified range. 

Welcoming everyone to the awards, Seth McCurry, MSC UK & Ireland Senior Commercial Manager, said: “In spite of another challenging year, we have seen strong continued commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood. Our MSC UK Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate outstanding achievement and performance in sustainable fishing and seafood across the entire UK business spectrum. With new categories introduced this year, I am pleased that we are able to recognise the range of contributions fisheries, suppliers, restaurants, brands and retailers are making to ensure we have fish for future generations to come.” 

Amali Bunter, Head of Responsible Sourcing and Ethical Trade, from Lidl GB said: “Sourcing fish and seafood sustainably is something we are passionate about and we are delighted to win the MSC Mid-sized Store Retailer of the Year award for the sixth year in a row. This award is testament to the efforts of our buying teams in driving a sustainable category, working closely with our suppliers every day. We are proud to have increased our range of MSC certified products in the last year and look forward to continuing to work closely with the MSC in the years to come, delivering affordable and sustainable products for our customers when they shop in our stores.” 

Stewart Irvine, co-founder of Woofs said: I’d like to thank MSC for this prestigious award. Several people within our organisation have worked tirelessly on promoting the values of sustainability and receiving this accolade is justification for their efforts. 

“I look forward to working closely with MSC in the future, as we endeavour to protect the valuable resources of our oceans.” 

Andy Boulton, Senior Manager Aquaculture and Fisheries, from Waitrose, said: “We’re delighted to accept the award for Fish Counter of the Year for the fourth year in a row and extremely pleased that we have also been awarded the first ever MSC UK Product of the Year award for our MSC certified yellowfin tuna. We’re proud to have been the first UK retailer to launch MSC certified chilled pre-pack yellowfin tuna in March this year.  

“The blue MSC ecolabel on our counters not only helps our customers identify sustainable fish and seafood, but also recognises and rewards efforts made by fishermen to ensure our oceans remain healthy. We’re always looking for new MSC certified species to add to our counter and are proud of our more recent additions to the counters.” 

Other award winners were Birds Eye for Frozen Brand of the Year, baby food brand Ella’s Kitchen for Newcomer of the Year, New England Seafood International for Retail Supplier of the Year, and Brakes and M&J for Foodservice Wholesaler of the Year.  

In a new category, Tom Russell, from the Poole Harbour clam and cockle fishery won Fisher of the Year for showing great leadership in setting up a demonstrably sustainable fishery, and Cornish hake won Ocean Hero for its years of hard work and commitment to sustainability.  

Anstruther Fish Bar in Fife, Scotland won Foodservice Champion of the Year while Direct Seafoods won Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year.  

The winners’ award was once again designed and manufactured using 3D printing by Cornish-based J Supplied 3D, made in collaboration with Fishy Filaments, who recycle fishing nets from the MSC certified hake fishery in Cornwall into engineering grade nylon filament. Fishy Filaments' innovative harbour-side recycling technology was invented in Cornwall and saves about 98% of carbon emissions when compared to using equivalent virgin material. The unique award was designed by artist Charlotte Dawe. 


All award winners can be viewed on our MSC UK Awards 2021 homepage