Sourcing Sustainable Fish For Your Business
In a recent publication, the Marine Conservation Society UK indicated that 90% of the world’s fish stocks are over-exploited and that a growing number of scientists and industry professionals are increasingly concerned about the threats facing fish stocks in the coming years. Add to that the current negotiations around Brexit legislation that will affect the fisheries industry and the uncertainty about catch allocations and supply, and it becomes even more important to make sure that caterers running fish and chip shops in the UK are positive about sourcing ethical and sustainable produce at the right price.
It makes good business sense on a number of levels, too. Firstly, sustainable fish stocks are well-controlled and the supply networks providing them tend to be more reliable as a result, meaning that you get a consistency of product and delivery. Secondly, it allows you to balance the more traditional, popular fish such as cod and haddock with some less well-known but equally delicious varieties such as rainbow trout or yellow gurnard. Last of all, it allows you to tap into an ever-growing customer base of people looking for a more ethical takeaway choice.
As well as making some great substitutions for more sustainably sourced fish, there are some other steps that fish and chip shop owners can take to increase sales of these products:
Make sure that you feature a sustainably sourced product as a special on your menu each day, making the purchase of these fish stocks the norm in your shop.
Train your staff to understand the value and importance of sustainably sourced fish so that they are aware of the processes involved in catching them and encourage them to educate customers about these things too.
Offer free samples of sustainably sourced products only, so that customers have the chance to taste them and follow up with a purchase.
Get licensed to use the Marine Conservation Society certification eco-labels on your menu, and in your branding, showing your commitment to a sustainable supply chain.
As well as doing good and ensuring a consistent and quality product supply, taking your business down this route could also be a valuable way of generating great publicity locally, and would give your business a dynamic USP, especially if you were able to bring customers and supporters together on social media. A great hashtag to follow is #GoodFishGoodDish, and you’ll find lots more information on the MCSUK website at www.mcsuk.org.
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