Mike Duckett, Royal Brompton Hospital
Mike Duckett is Catering Services Manager at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, in the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Westminster. He and his team provide food for health service catering in the Royal Brompton Hospital, and Mike has been a tireless champion of a healthy and sustainable approach to public sector food for many years, including sustainable fish.
"Buying fish responsibly is crucial to ensure the sustainability and security of our fish and seafood food chain for the future. Fish is also an important commodity towards a healthier diet, very nutritious, easily cooked and less fat than meat products. These are essential reasons for its protection."
"We are passionate about sustainable food sources and looking after the environment for the future. We were prompted to act by hearing about the loss of the fishing areas through over-fishing and other non sustainable practices. Our change in what fish we use has also inspired our customers who are now experiencing new tastes and fish species that once were unknown to them."
"Choosing to ignore this issue would reduce fish stocks and the type of fish that is available. It would do untold damage to the ocean environment and may lead to dead areas of the ocean where it will be unfishable. The majority of our patients and staff support the sustainability of their food and are interested in what we do in fish procurement and with ensuring the fishing environment remains for the future. It is a good marketing exercise in demonstrating what is being said in the press in a practical way."
What has Mike done to support sustainable fish?
"We have always promoted sustainable fish and have worked towards identifying the kinds of fish which are more sustainably fished, and purchased these as priority for our patients and staff menus. Visiting local fisheries on the South Coast with Sustain highlighted to us what fish was available locally to the South East and London. We have now identified how sustainable our fish from each supplier reaches that objective, enabling our menus and recipes to be changed accordingly."
"We have changed our normal fish purchasing policy to reduce the need for fish that is under threat, or which is fished in a way that will harm the environment. To this extent we are now not buying any fish that we need to avoid according to the Marine Conservation Society (i.e. avoiding 5 rated fish)."
"We are also changing our normal fish supplies (i.e. cod, and haddock not coming from Scotland) to sustainable pollock, and all unsustainably caught plaice will be replaced on our menus shortly."
Find out more about support for public sector organisations in London to serve healthy and sustainable food from the Good Food on the Public Plate project.
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.