Tony Cooke, Sodexo
Tony Cooke is Director of Government Relations for Sodexo, having previously worked as programme director for the Year of Food and Farming campaign run by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Sodexo in the UK and Ireland employs around 43,000 people, and provides on-site services to clients at over 2,300 locations in the corporate, healthcare, education, leisure and defence sectors.
Tony has worked with Sodexo during an important time in which the company, a specialist in foodservice, has undertaken certification of its products through Red Tractor farm assurance and also Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification, to enable the company to serve and promote certified sustainable fish.
As Tony explains, "Our restaurants are now Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified; meaning that wherever you see the MSC ecolabel, fish has been sourced from sustainable fisheries. So now our fish dishes are as good for the ocean as they are for you."
More than one million people in the UK will be offered MSC certified sustainable fish in workplace restaurants, schools, hospitals and defence sites. In a world-first, Sodexo had all of its restaurants and cafés certified to serve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fish. MSC ecolabelled fish will be available in around a thousand sites ranging from Manchester Royal Infirmary, the Co-operative and Eton College to primary schools in Wiltshire, Catterick Garrison, Blenheim Palace, the Cabinet War Rooms, the HMS Belfast and the Chelsea Flower Show.
Hannah Arcaro, UK Foodservice Manager at the MSC said: “What Sodexo has achieved is nothing less than amazing. Serving MSC certified sustainable fish at nearly a thousand sites will introduce a huge cross-section of British consumers to the issues around overfishing and how they can be part of the solution. By helping to reward the certified fisheries around the world, who have proven that they are fishing sustainably, Sodexo and its customers will be helping to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.”
Michelle Hanson, Commercial Director, for Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: "This was an ambitious target that we set ourselves as part of the Better Tomorrow Plan, our sustainability strategy to 2020. Like most people, we were alarmed to hear about declining fish stocks. Through MSC certification, we believe we are making a real difference in helping to protect the world's fish stocks."
Facts and figures
- Sodexo is one of the world’s largest food and facilities management services providers.
- Sodexo serves 123 tonnes of wild-caught MSC fish per year.
- Sodexo’s UK MSC fish on offer at sites includes mackerel, herring, Dover sole and sardines and international MSC fish includes hake, salmon, hoki, pollock and prawns.
- Sodexo was the first foodservice company to achieve MSC certification across all of its education sites in 2009.
- Sodexo serves fish at over 375 schools and universities, 54 hospitals, 150 defence sites and 350 company restaurants, visitor attractions and national events.
- MSC certified fish can be recognised on menus by the MSC’s ‘Certified Sustainable Seafood’ blue ecolabel.
Find out more about the Sodexo sustainable seafood commitment at: http://uk.sodexo.com/uken/corporate-citizenship/sustainable/seafood.asp
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.