Three of the UK’s leading fish and chip businesses have been announced as finalists in the Good Catch – The Sustainable Seafood Award for the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
The three shortlisted businesses – Rockfish in Brixham, Devon; Fish City in Belfast, and Papa’s Fish and Chips in Hull, East Yorkshire – will now compete against each other as they ‘fry’ for glory in the race to bag the prestigious Good Catch Award.
To secure a place as a coveted finalist, the shortlisted businesses have been appraised across a wide variety of judging criteria focusing strongly on the policies and procedures they have in place regarding the responsible sourcing of the fish and shellfish they use in their respective shops. Judges also appraised how well shops performed at educating and informing customers on the sustainability credentials of the seafood they serve including details of the journey that the fish used takes from net to plate.
In addition, shops were appraised as to how they seek to influence or encourage others in the industry to also have a responsible attitude to serving sustainable fish and shellfish. The shops were also appraised on what their plans were to take issues of sustainability of seafood a step further in their respective businesses over the coming year.
Over the coming weeks, finalists will receive further mystery judging assessments by awards judges who will undertake in-depth audits of both the front and back of house operational aspects of shops and also assess the level of customer service and quality of the fish and chips on offer. This final stage of competition judging will determine the overall winner of this particular award category that will be announced at the National Fish and Chip Awards ceremony in London on 26 January 2017.
Recognising fish and chip businesses that are leading the way in the sourcing and promotion of sustainable fish and shellfish, the Good Catch Award celebrates fish and chip businesses across the country that are actively working to protect supplies of seafood. It is co-sponsored by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the international ecolabel and certification programme for sustainable fishing practises, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK charity dedicated to the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife, along with fish supply brand Norfisk.
Co-sponsor George Clark, UK Commercial Manager of MSC, commented: “Another tough year in judging this award so far, and we’ve managed to condense down to this shortlist of very strong finalists. We’ve seen keen interest year on year from fish and chip businesses wanting to prove their sustainable credentials and win The Good Catch Award; and with a full set of MSC certified shops in the category once more, it’s going to be really tough to whittle this down to an overall winner.”
Co-sponsor Samuel Stone, Head of Fisheries & Aquaculture at the MCS, commented: “We are delighted to see a range of new entrants for the Good Catch Award this year and were really impressed with how good an understanding they have of responsible buying practices and general awareness of marine conservation issues. It’s clear that fish and chip businesses are increasingly utilising the available resources to really learn about the seafood they’re selling, which is fantastic to see. The more we all know about the food we eat, the more likely we’ll make responsible choices to keep encouraging improvements in how our food is sourced and produced.”
Co-sponsor Steve Tilston from Norfisk said: “With food provenance driving consumer choice, the question of where and how seafood has been sourced has never been more important. As a company that is passionate about sustainable, line caught products, it’s an honour to support this year’s Good Catch Award.
“It is encouraging to see that even the smallest of businesses are demonstrating their commitment towards responsible sourcing. Sustainability is such a topical issue within our industry; the National Fish & Chip Awards do an excellent job of promoting the importance of fish provenance. We congratulate the three finalists and look forward to seeing who comes out on top.”
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, said: “This award is a fundamental category in The National Fish & Chip Awards as it represents everything that the awards stand for; ensuring a sustainable future for important key ingredients used in the fish and chip process, and thus ensuring a vibrant future for the overall fish and chip industry itself.”
“All three finalists should be incredibly proud of themselves for getting to this stage – they are true UK leaders in the fields of responsible sourcing and fish sustainability and I wish them the best of luck as they progress to the final round of judging.”
The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the Great British tradition of fish and chips, showcasing the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses through 13 different award categories.
For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit www.fishandchipawards.com. Follow @FishnChipAwards on Twitter for all the awards news and information.