Sustainable Fish City
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London Mayor Boris Johnson supports sustainable fish
A supporter of Sustain's campaign for sustainability standards in public sector food procurement [see her entry on facebook] recently wrote to London Mayor Boris Johnson, asking him about his approach on sustainably sourced fish. The Greater London Authority (GLA), the Mayor's food team, and Mayor's food advisor Rosie Boycott (Chair of London Food) has already been very supportive in helping encourage the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to adopt a sustainable fish policy. The GLA have already committed to implementing the London 2012 sustainable fish policy in catering for organisations over which they have control, namely the London Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade and Transport for London. In response to the enquiry in March 2011, the Mayor's food team wrote back very positively, as follows:
Thank you for your recent email to the Mayor of London. Boris Johnson, about the importance of sustainable fish policies. I work in the Mayor's food team and have been asked to reply on his behalf.
The Mayor has a Food Strategy for London, subtitled Healthy and Sustainable Food for London. Sustainable fisheries is one of the fastest-emerging priorities of the work being done in London to implement that strategy by the London Food Board, which is chaired by the Mayor's food advisor, Rosie Boycott.
To highlight the issues areound sustainable fish, Rosie Boycot has challenged London citizens and businesses to make London the world's first Sustainable Fish City, a campaign being run by organisations including Sustain, the Alliance for Better Farming and Food. The Sustainable Fish City initiative was launched on the same day as the Fish Fight camplaign you mention.
London has already taken the first steps to becoming a Sustainable Fish City. In 2009, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games committed to using only sustainable fish in catering for the Games. Following the Olympic lead, the Greater London Authority announced in December 2010 it would adopt the London 2012 food standards, including a commitment to sustainable fish. This will result in sustainable fish being served to London's police, transport workers, the fire brigade and GLA staff here in City Hall.
In January several other major London organisations promised to help London become a Sustainable Fish City by pledging to specify sustainable fish in their catering contracts and to promote sustainable fish to their customers. These include the National Trust; five top London universities (City, Goldsmiths, Greenwich, Imperial College and SOAS); the D&D chain of London restaurants; and one of the largest caterers in the UK, Sodexo, which provides food for many of London's attractions, including the HMS Belfast, the Cabinet War Rooms and the Chelsea Flower Show. To protect fish stocks and marine ecosystems, these have promised to follow the campaign's simple advice: "Exclude the worst, promote the best and improve the rest."
The launch of Sustainable Fish City highlighted the fact that Londoners spend over £1 billion on fish every year, which is a vital opportunity to invest in sustainable fishing practices and support those fishermen who are doing their best to protect precious fish and marine environments. Sustainable Fish City will help London's local authorities, schools, universities, caterers, shops and tourist attractions to serve sustainable fish, and London's citizens to buy fish responsibly. The aim is for London's boroughs and large food businesses, including fish suppliers, to serve sustainable fish by 2012.
If you would like to know more about our work on sustainable fish please contact me or email fish@sustainweb,org. The Sustainable Fish City website is at: www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefishcity
I wish you every success in your campaigning.
Food Programme Manager
Greater London Authority
Sustainable Fish City is a Sustain campaign