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High Street Restaurant and Pub Chains Rated for Seafood Sustainability

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Lack of Clarity on the Menu leaves Diners in the Dark when making a Seafood Choice

A lack of information about the sources of seafood is one of the biggest barriers for diners trying to eat seafood sustainably, analysis by Fish2fork and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) shows.

Eleven high street restaurant chains and pubs were assessed on the sustainability of the seafood that features on their menus. Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia came out top, closely followed by Harry Ramsden’s, Beefeater, Côte Brasserie and Carluccio’s. Prezzo, Wetherspoons and Itsu were at the bottom.

Researchers found that, even when high street restaurants and pubs buy seafood that is caught or produced responsibly, it can be difficult for the diner to tell which have made the effort to seek out sustainable supplies.

However, Fish2fork and MCS are delighted that high street chain restaurants and pubs are increasingly willing to switch to sustainable seafood.

The latest assessment follows the autumn 2015 project which looked at the sustainability of seafood served by 12 chains. Since then, Fish2fork and MCS have revised their scoring system, making it harder to achieve blue fish ratings.
Of 11 chain restaurants and pubs newly assessed, totalling more than 2,000 branches across the UK, just three failed to meet minimum standards of sustainability in the Fish2fork assessment criteria, which include the need to be transparent about sourcing.

It is fantastic that some of the UK’s most popular restaurants really are making an effort to seek out sustainable sources of seafood, often as a result of engaging with Fish2fork,” said Tim Glover, managing director of Fish2fork, the online restaurant guide. “But we are troubled that it is so often difficult for diners to know how sustainable a restaurant’s seafood is. We would urge restaurants to make a greater effort to make it clear on their menus where their seafood comes from, though we recognise that it can be difficult for them to get detailed information from suppliers. Sustainability is a vital ingredient in any dish, but diners shouldn’t be left to guess whether it’s there or not.”

Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture at MCS, Samuel Stone said: “It’s brilliant to see so many high street restaurants now seeking more sustainable seafood, yet they need to bolster traceability and do more to tell their diners about the seafood they are serving. “When eating out on the high street, diners need to know they aren’t going to be consuming seafood that is red rated or listed as Endangered. Telling diners where and how seafood has been produced and using the various seafood ecolabels available is key to this.”

Eight restaurant chains surveyed over the last ten months achieved Fish2fork blue fish ratings, denoting sustainability practices that meet or exceed the minimum standard.

This marks an improvement from the 2015 Chain Restaurant project in which more than half (seven out of 12) used seafood from overfished areas of the sea or failed to be transparent about the origins of their fish and shellfish.

During the latest ratings process six of the 11 restaurants changed their sourcing practices to be more sustainable.

These included Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia which have improved their Fish2fork rating enormously over the last year. Cafe Rouge now gets a 3.5 blue fish rating and Bella Italia 3 blue fish, making them highly sustainable restaurants.

Tim Doubleday, Chief Financial Officer, Casual Dining Group which includes Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia, said: “We recognise the profound responsibility all restaurant businesses have in sourcing fish ethically and sustainably, and as such taking it extremely seriously, striving to be recognised as a leader in this area.

“In partnership with government bodies and respected organisations such as Fish2fork, we have worked hard to scrutinise our supply chain, systems and processes to categorically ensure sustainable sourcing across all our brands – Café Rouge, Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and La Tasca. We are delighted to be recognised in this way by Fish2fork and look forward to building on our partnership in the future.”

Other restaurant chains praised by Fish2fork and MCS for their level of seafood sustainability are Harry Ramsden’s, Côte Brasserie, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Carluccio’s  and Eat. More restaurant chains will be assessed by Fish2fork and MCS later this year.

Transparency over the sources of king prawns and sea bass were the types of seafood used by chain restaurants giving the biggest causes of concern.

Wetherspoons and Prezzo both failed to make it clear, either on their menus or direct to Fish2fork, where their king prawns derived. Itsu has prawns on its menus but fails even to say what type are used. Similarly, Prezzo served sea bass but failed to make clear if it was farmed or wild.

A lack of transparency and information makes it impossible for the public to be sure the seafood being served is from well managed fisheries and fish farms.

Together, Fish2fork and MCS are working to ensure that all seafood eaten or traded in the UK is from well managed fisheries and fish farms that have as little impact on the marine ecosystem as possible.

The ratings:

Cafe Rouge               3.5 blue
Bella Italia                 3 blue
Harry Ramsden’s     2.5 blue
Beefeater                  2.5 blue
Cote Brasserie         2.5 blue
Carluccio’s                2.5 blue
Brewers Fayre         2 blue
EAT                            2 blue
Wetherspoon           0.5 red
Itsu                            0.5 red
Prezzo                      1 red

www.mcsuk.org

www.fish2fork.com

Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition. The See you at the Sea Festival was an online film festival created by young people, for young people.

Veronica’s film – Worse things Happen at Sea – can be seen here:

Sixth and final in a series of six videos about the competition. Watch the first video HERE with Jenn Sandiford – Youth Engagement Officer with the Your Shore Beach Rangers Project and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to find out more about the Competition. Each day this week will be sharing one video in which Jeff talks with the young contestants about their films and what inspired them.


For more information please visit:

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News

Peli proud to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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We know Peli from its popular camera cases, but from discovery to distribution, Peli’s temperature-controlled packaging is now delivering COVID-19 vaccines all over Europe and the Middle East

With the pandemic recovery just underway, COVID-19 vaccines and therapies are rapidly becoming available for use and they must be safely distributed worldwide, within their required temperature range. Peli’s BioThermal™ division is providing temperature-controlled packaging to meet this critical moment, protecting these crucial payloads.

Peli’s innovative cold chain packaging has been trusted for nearly 20 years by pharmaceutical manufacturers to safely ship their life-saving products around the world. To meet the current challenge, they have adapted their existing products to provide deep frozen temperatures when required for the newly developed life sciences materials. Current and new offerings will ensure the cold chain is maintained throughout the vaccine or therapy’s journey, maximising efficacy and patient health.

“We know that pharmaceutical companies are in all phases of the development process for vaccines and therapeutics and working tirelessly to bring safe and effective drug products to market quickly,” said Greg Wheatley, Vice President of Worldwide New Product Development and Engineering at Peli BioThermal. “Our engineering team matched this urgency to ensure they have the correct temperature-controlled packaging to meet them where they’re at in drug development for the pandemic recovery, from discovery to distribution.”

Peli BioThermal’s deep frozen products use phase change material (PCM) and dry ice systems to provide frozen payload protection with durations from 72 hours to 144+ hours. Payload capacities range from 1 to 96 litres for parcel shippers and 140 to 1,686 litres for pallet shippers.

New deep-frozen solutions are ideal for short-term vaccine storage, redirect courier transport of vaccines from freezer farm hubs to immunisation locations and daily vaccine replenishment to remote and rural areas.

Peli BioThermal temperature-controlled packaging is currently being used to distribute COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, either directly or through global transportation providers, in Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK as well as in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, with more countries set to join the list as the pandemic recovery process rolls out.

To learn more about the wide range of deep frozen Peli BioThermal shippers, visit Peli.com and PeliBioThermal.com for more information.

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