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).
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