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UK foodservice companies urged to improve seafood sustainability sourcing

The commercial foodservice industry in the UK has been urged to use its “massive purchasing power” to source seafood sustainably and align its standards with the rest of the industry.

ClientEarth, which acts as the secretariat of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition, is currently contacting companies in the foodservice and contract catering sector – those supplying seafood to restaurants, high street shops, hospitals and schools – and urging them to sign up to the coalition’s code of conduct.

Currently only a small percentage of foodservice companies have signed up to the code, despite their businesses accounting for about a third of all seafood volume purchased in the UK. In comparison, retailers who have joined the coalition account for around 75% of seafood sold through supermarkets.

ClientEarth sustainable seafood project leader Katie Miller said:

“The foodservice sector has massive purchasing power in terms of British seafood. Their brands may not all be consumer-facing, but they’re responsible for a large part of what seafood is served in restaurants, schools, hospitals and high-street shops across the UK.

“While consumers can now have confidence that the majority of supermarket seafood is sourced in line with the Sustainable Seafood Coalition code of conduct, we would now like to see the foodservice sector, especially contract caterers and their suppliers, join the push for sustainable seafood through responsible sourcing practices.

“With increasing awareness about the need for responsibly sourced seafood, successful suppliers more than ever need to be aligned with the demands of their customers and end-consumers. We’re urging the foodservice sector to join the drive to make 100% of seafood sold in the UK sustainable.

“In terms of benefits, our research shows that coalition members overwhelmingly report that their brands benefit from the sustainable sourcing and labelling commitments within the code. The coalition is currently raising standards across the whole seafood supply chain, we need the foodservice and catering sector to ensure the UK supply chain continues to be a world leader in environmental sustainability.”

Foodservice companies can find out more about joining the SSC on their website or via email.

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Caroline Attwood

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