Jeanette Longfield, Sustain
Jeanette Longfield is Co-ordinator of Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming, which works with around 100 national member organisations to coordinate campaigns to support a healthy, fair and sustainable food system (including the Sustainable Fish City campaign!). Find out about the other organisations supporting this campaign on the About page. Inspired by reading "End of the Line" by Charles Clover (and also seeing the film), Jeanette is personally passionate about sustainable fish.
As she explains: "It would be unbearable if our generation were responsible for the extinction of several species of fish (or other marine life). If we can't get this right - and it's really not difficult - then I despair about some of the trickier things we have to do to make life on this planet continue to be worth living."
"On a personal level, unless I'm certain that the fish comes from a sustainable source, I don't buy it. It's so easy just to buy something else if you're not sure. To be sure, just look for the blue MSC eco-label. I also like the idea that, by buying sustainable fish, I'm supporting people in the fishing and associated industries who are trying hard to do the right thing."
To food businesses using fish, and who might not yet have adopted a sustainable fish policy, Jeanette says: "You will lose business to your competitors. You might even find yourself on the receiving end of a customer boycott! Surely you want your company to be in the forefront of developments, not bringing up the rear?"
What has Sustain done to support sustainable fish?
Sustain has done a lot of work over recent years to support sustainable fish. This includes:
- Integrating sustainable fish into Sustain's catering policy for events and meetings. As Jeanette explains, "If you're an organisation campaigning for sustainable development then you have to practise what you preach. It's indefensible to have, in your catering for meetings and events, fish species that are endangered. It's completely straightforward to require only certified sustainable fish - such as Marine Stewardship Council"
- Promoting sustainable fish to public sector organisations, such as hospitals, schools, local authorities and public service organisations, and facilitated changes to policies and contracts to make sustainable fish the norm in these organisations - as part of the Good Food on the Public Plate project
- Lobbying for government to improve fish sustainability, health advice relating to fish consumption, and to set sustainability standards for the catering government pays for - as part of the Good Food for Our Money campaign
- Lobbying the organisers of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to adopt a sustainable seafood policy, "Which we're very pleased to report was successful!" - see our Olympic Food pages for more details
- Working with the National Consumer Council to undertake surveys of supermarkets, to find out how well (or badly!) they are promoting fish sustainability to their customers - as part of the Greening Retailers project
- Bringing together conservation organisations and fish sustainability groups to discuss the best ways to combine efforts to support sustainable fish, resulting in the Sustainable Fish City campaign!
Visit the Sustain website at: http://www.sustainweb.org
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Fish Fight
I have been travelling around the UK meeting fishermen, marine conservationists, politicians, supermarkets bosses, and of course fish-eating members of the public. It has changed the way I think about fish.
Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Good ethics should be part of everyday business. Many restaurants and caterers in this are helping to protect our precious marine resources. They should get rightful recognition and inspire others to do the same.
Rosie Boycott, London Food Board
Taking a sustainable approach to fish is critical to the food security of our city. It is shocking to think that within our lifetimes, we could lose some of our favourite species from the seas forever.