RESTAURANT ASSOCIATES and Alliance in Partnership (AiP) have become the latest caterers to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.
AiP had been purchasing MSC-certified fish for some time but, until it completed the ocean to plate traceability by becoming MSC certified, the fish could not be sold as MSC-certified sustainable seafood. This is to ensure full traceability of all fish sold as MSC even in complicated supply chains.
AiPs new certification covers the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea contracts, with all of the schools holding a special promotional day.
Meanwhile, Restaurant Associates, the executive dining arm of Compass, will be serving sustainable fish to 250,000 customers a day across more than 100 sites. They will also be using the MSC eco-label on their menus.
AiP and Restaurant Associates join a growing number of caterers that have committed to MSC-only fish. Sodexo, for instance, was the first to have all of its sites in the UK (which serve fish) brought under the scheme.
A number of other caterers have had some of their sites certified, including Caterlink (for Schools in Camden and Islington), ISS Facility services (for schools in Redbridge and Merton) Eden Foodservice (for schools in Brighton and Hove) and Compass (for schools in Westminster).
Others have pledged to achieve MSC certification as part of a campaign to make London the first Sustainable Fish City.
Restaurant Associates signed up to the campaign almost exactly a year ago, committing at the time to achieve MSC certification across all of its restaurants. Todays announcement represents the fulfilment of that goal and I am exceptionally proud of all our teams that have been working so hard to make this happen, said MD Andy Harris.
Amy Teichman, group development chef for AiP at Kensington and Chelsea said fish is a cornerstone of the companys healthy eating policy.
Each day the catering managers are required to record their usage of fish and each month they must report their stock. They then compile a reconciliation of the usage versus sales every month. It is a regimental approach, but ensures AiP knows how much fish they are using and where its going, she says.
Its also proved to be a good tool to help the caterer see which fish the children prefer, helping to inform future menu items. The most popular item at present is the MSC-certified Wild Alaskan Pollock Fish Fingers.