Over two thirds of the award winners at this year’s National Fish and Chip awards are MSC certified. That includes nearly all of the finalists for fish and chip shop of the year and the big winners, Kingfisher of Plymouth.
George Clark from the MSC explains: “Sustainability is a key factor for two of the awards but for the other categories I think it’s a sign of the changing times. For those fish and chip shops that are really pushing the boat out to make the best fish and chips, MSC certification is a natural part of the process. You’ve got your chips perfect, your batter crispy and great quality. How can you go further? A fully traceable supply chain and sustainable fish.”
George continues: “There aren’t many countries who can claim their national dish is helping to save the planet, but with winners like this year’s group, we can. Every portion of MSC certified fish and chips is helping to drive change on the water, making sure that future generations can continue to enjoy the fish and chips we love today.”
MSC at the Awards
The MSC first appeared at the National Fish and Chips Awards in 2010 as part of the Good Catch award and has become a regular feature. With more and more shops and restaurants demonstrating sustainability and traceability of the seafood they serve with the MSC label, the fish and chip sector is leading the restaurant trade in moving towards sustainability.
This year over two thirds (70%) of finalists for the awards have MSC certification and use the blue label on their fish and chips, which allows customers to easily recognise seafood that has come from certified sustainable fisheries.
9 out of ten finalists for the most prestigious awards, the Independent Takeaway of the Year Award, were MSC certified, which is a great success story for the industry and shows how committed these leading shops are to offering certified sustainable seafood. Craig Maw of Kingfisher Fish and Chips, who also won the Good Catch Award for the most sustainable chippy in the UK in 2016, says: “We are absolutely delighted to be crowned the UK’s No.1 Fish & Chip Takeaway. We work very hard to ensure the product we serve, our shop and the level of service we provide are of the highest standards. Championing sustainability has benefitted our business in many ways and being MSC certified has helped us in the quest to solidify our values within the industry, to our team and to our customers. Traceability and provenance have helped us gain confidence in demonstrating to our customers that the seafood we serve is sustainable, responsibly sourced and fully traceable. It is vital for us and as an industry to be leading the way and we hope more shops in our industry will follow in our footsteps and choose to serve MSC certified seafood on their menus. There are 10,500 fish and chip shops in the UK and everyone should be making the right choices when it comes to seafood, to help keep fish and chips on the menu for years to come.”
How to get certified
Becoming MSC certified is now easier than ever thanks to a partnership between MSC and the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF). Recognising and incorporating sustainability when sourcing ingredients is also an important part of the NFFF’s Quality Award. The collaboration means that shops can now jointly apply for the Quality Award and MSC certification, reducing cost and administrative burden. Alternatively, restaurants or shops that already hold a Quality Award can apply for MSC certification at a discounted price.