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Push is vital as well as pull.

Mark Greet Fairish MD

SIR; In the summer Amy Williams, commercial manager of the Marine Stewardship Council, wrote in The Grocer about how retailers can play a decisive role in leading fisheries on a sustainable path through their purchasing power ('Talking Shop', The Grocer, 8 July, p49).

In a rapidly changing fishing industry, fish processing companies such as ourselves form vital links. They, like the major retailers, work in partnership with the fishing industry to supply produce that meets, and often exceeds, environmental and sustainable regulations and expectations.

Demand for sustainably caught fish may be seen as consumer led, but that's only half the story. Fish processing companies play an important role in informing retailers on abundant stocks and eco-friendly techniques. 'Push' from the fishing industry is going to be as equally important as consumer 'pull'.

Supporting the MSC's environmental standard will help us all and is something tangible for consumers to grasp. Credible, environmentally minded processors are a conduit between consumers and fishing fleets and can make sustainable purchases, informing retailers and NGOs on abundancy, methods, alternative varieties and traceability.

Projects such as Invest in Fish Southwest highlight a new bottom-up approach involving the fishing and processing industries. They demonstrate a heightened awareness that is beginning to bear fruit as communications improve across the supply chain.

Consumer expectations remain high, with growing interest in the source as well as a desire for connection with small UK-based producers. Responsible processors could link these two ends of the market and drive the industry to a better future.
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Author:Greet, Mark
Publication:Grocer
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Dec 2, 2006
Words:256
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