Archived site section

Please note that the content on this page has been archived and is not actively reviewed at present.

Sustain Sustainable Fish About us

5 Stars: Our targets for success

What do we need to have achieved before we can declare a Sustainable Fish City? As you can imagine, we've given this a lot of thought. Ideally - of course - we would like all suppliers of fish to be trading only in fish from sustainable sources. But we have to have some targets along the way to help us get there and inspire others to join in.

So we have developed a ‘Five Star’ system, which recognises the five areas which have been identified as making a significant difference. We want to achieve a certain number of Sustainable Fish City pledges for each of the five areas as outlined below.

We will publish regular updates on progress via our news page.

STAR 1 - Schools and council catering

2 out of 3 of the following key public sector institutions, depending on the opportunities in the town or city:

Primary Schools: A pledge from the local authority and/or caterer(s) who provide all or the majority of primary school catering, or (although this may be much harder work), from individual schools

Secondary Schools: A pledge from the local authority and/or caterer(s) who provide all or the majority of secondary school catering, or (although this may be much harder work), from individual schools. 

Other Council Catering: A pledge from the local authority and/or caterer(s) who provide a significant amount of catering for council services (other than schools), or (although this may be much harder work), from individual institutions and bodies. Depending on local circumstances, this could include:

  • Council-run care homes
  • Welfare catering, such as meals on wheels and lunch clubs for older people
  • Police stations and fire stations (some may buy catering services)
  • Civic catering – including workplace canteens, Council buildings and other civic centres
  • Council-run libraries, galleries or museums that buy catering services or run a café

STAR 2 – Hospitals

A pledge from the hospital(s) and/or caterer(s) who provide the majority of hospital food 

The volume of fish served through NHS catering is vast, so their contracts are hugely influential on the sustainability policies of suppliers and contract caterers. The sector covers patient feeding, staff dining and guest or visitor dining. The local NHS trust is usually responsible for commissioning catering on behalf of the various hospital and clinic sites across the trust, but there are often many different individual contracts for hospitals or individual services. The key is to cover the majority of catering, so concentrate on the largest catering operations.

STAR 3 - Higher Education

Aim: A pledge from all or the majority of the most significant institutions of higher education.

This might include universities, colleges, six-form colleges or other higher education institutions. A list of these is available here. Universities are large-volume caterers so have a significant impact on the supply chain. Many have sustainability as a core facet of their catering offer, so there’s really no excuse for a higher education institution not to sign up!  At least half of university catering is managed in-house, whereby the university itself manage the catering. Others use commercial contract caterers.

STAR 4 - Workplace canteens

Aim:  A pledge from at least 10 large employers

The large employers will vary greatly in different areas; in some cities the Local Authority may be one of the largest employers, which is great because they will be included in other procurement areas. A significant number of private employers is important as well though, because this helps to influence a wide cross section of contract caterers

STAR 5 – Innovation

Aim: A pledge from at least 5 iconic businesses and one innovative engagement campaign

Sustainable Fish Cities aims to have maximum impact on the seafood supply chain through the buying policies of large volume caterers. However, some smaller businesses and individuals have a disproportionately large impact thanks to their iconic status or ability to influence the industry. Five pledges are required from this sector. They could be:

  • Food businesses which are influential in the community – for example a local market, popular restaurant (especially a celebrity restaurant or fish specialist) or learning kitchen.
  • Tourist attraction or well-known local venue for example zoos and aquaria, public or private museums or galleries, sports stadia and venues (especially football stadia)
  • Local ‘champions’ or personalities that to support the campaign – ideally they would pledge on behalf of any catering they represent  or could be involved purely as a supporter. 

One locally-relevant campaign is also required, for example:

  • A campaign to get all businesses within the iconic city market to sign the pledge
  • All businesses within a tourist area?
  • An awareness campaign about where people can buy sustainable food and how to choose sustainable food(for example organise a sampling event at a restaurant)

Sustainable Fish: A campaign to protect precious marine environments and fishing livelihoods, and call for fish to be bought from sustainable sources. We want to show what can be done if people and organisations make a concerted effort to change their buying habits.

Support our campaign

Donate now to help us to protect marine environments and fishing livelihoods.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2024
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies