Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food
Rosie Boycott is Chair of the London Food Board, and works with the London Food Team and Board members to implement the London Food Strategy and to promote a healthier and more sustainable food system for the capital.
As a practical part of implementing the London Food Strategy, the London Food Board and Greater London Authority have supported the Good Food on the Public Plate project, working with a range of public sector caterers in London to increase the amount of sustainable food that they use, including certified sustainable fish.
In January 2011, Rosie Boycott challenged citizens and businesses to make London the world’s first Sustainable Fish City.
“Taking a sustainable approach to fish is critical to the food security of our city,” said Rosie Boycott. “It is shocking to think that within our lifetimes, we could lose some of our favourite species from the seas forever. Everyone who buys food in London, whether as a consumer or a food business, can help secure a sustainable fish future.”
London has already taken the first steps to becoming a Sustainable Fish City. In 2009, the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games committed to using only sustainable fish in catering for the Games. Following the Olympic lead, the Greater London Authority announced in December 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.
Responding to Rosie Boycott's challenge, 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. This includes 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 see a full list visit the Who's working on it? page. To protect fish stocks and marine ecosystems, these have pledged to follow the campaign’s simple advice: “Exclude the worst, promote the best and improve the rest.”
“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 ocean environments,” said Jon Walker, coordinator of the Sustainable Fish City campaign, which is run by a team of food and conservation groups (see full list here). 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.
Find out more about the work of London Food at: http://www.london.gov.uk/londonfood/
Good Food on the Public Plate is at: http://www.sustainweb.org/goodfoodpublicplate
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.