There are two companies supplying the core Department with fish. Baxter Storey who already promote the use of MSC fish on DEFRA sites and Aramark. The Baxter Storey contract is due to finish in January 2010 and the Aramark contract in June 2009 unless extensions are granted. Both organisations are committed to the use of sustainable fish supplies.
Aramark for the month of November, will be running a Sustainable Fish promotional campaign on DEFRA sites. On a particular day, not Friday, they will offer their customers the opportunity to sample sustainable white fish alternatives to Cod and Haddock, products such as MSC Hake, Coley, Pollock, Pangasius and Hoki. They will ask customers for feedback on the products and once the feedback has been collated they hope to be in a position to remove Cod and Haddock completely. They have already run this campaign at other customer sites, where customers voted overwhelmingly to remove Cod and Haddock completely from the menu, having enjoyed the alternatives.
Guidance has been made available to all government procurers on the inclusion of a clause, for catering contracts, that addresses the issue of sourcing sustainable seafood. Advice on how to do this is given in the model specification clauses included in DEFRA’s “Catering Services and Food Procurement Toolkit”—see section 2(A) and appendix E. URL:
DEFRA’s own catering contract includes this model clause.
Information supplied by the catering service providers to the core Department shows that “approximately 2.5 kilos per week of cod is used”. There is only one supplier currently serving cod on one site. The company, Aramark, are proposing to substitute it with alternatives such as MSC Hake, Coley, Pollock, Pangasius and Hoki if a campaign to promote these species of fish from sustainable sources is well received by customers. Trials elsewhere have proved successful.