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Can London fulfill sustainability commitments?
June 25, 2012 - When the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) unveiled its London 2012 Food Vision in December 2009, it made the commitment that all fish served at official events would be “demonstrably sustainable.” It was the first pledge of this nature ever to be made by a major international sporting event and one that presented U.K. seafood suppliers with a billion-dollar conundrum: With an estimated 14 million meals projected to be served during the games across 40 locations, where was all the sustainable fish going to come from?

At that time, officials hadn’t defined what was meant by “demonstrably sustainable” and seafood was just one food category on a list of many. Those suppliers that were looking to steal a march on their rivals only had a “Benchmark Standard” to go by that stated all fish must be sustainable according to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). 

Back in 2009, many felt the initial policy descriptions were too vague and open to misinterpretation. Fortunately, greater clarity and purchasing confidence came via Sustain — the alliance for better food and farming; along with Good Catch, which provides practical information on sustainable seafood for chefs, caterers and restaurateurs; and the MCS with its traffic light rating system, whereby “fish to eat” are rated 1 (light green) and 2 (pale green) and “fish to avoid” are rated 5 (red). 

Laky Zervudachi, sustainability director for fresh fish supplier Direct Seafoods, explains it’s now clear to everyone that the policy requires all wild fish supplied to the Games to be rated MCS 1 or 2 or alternatively MSC certified. There’s “a little more leeway and opportunity” with farmed fish in that species with an MCS 3 (yellow) rating can be used, but LOCOG has specified that it’s expecting best practices within that level, he says.


Read the full story on SeafoodSource.com 

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