ASC Cooks up Interest in Independent Restaurant Pilot At Bremen Fish International
February 16, 2016
At the Bremen International Fish show, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) andMarine Stewardship Council (MSC) highlighted the benefits of a joint pilot project to streamline access to the ASC and MSC logo for independent restaurateurs.
Together, the agencies hosted a live cooking event called Sustainability is Tasty: Responsible Diversity on Your Menu. The demonstration was led by Dennis Witkowski, head chef of Fisherman’s Seafood in Bremen, who prepared roasted Cod on curry vegetables with certified seafood and explained the restaurants’ journey towards ASC and MSC licensing.
Fisherman’s Seafood in Bremen was one of the first to participate in the pilot in Germany, and used the Bremen International Fish Show to demonstrate the benefits of receiving certification to serve ASC and MSC seafood. The event was popular with conference goers and those in attendance were invited to sample the delicious food prepared during the live show. At the conclusion of the demonstration, restaurateurs in attendance were given information about how to access the pilot programme.
The scheme, which began in April 2015 and will run until 2018, offers restaurants interested in serving responsibly caught seafood the opportunity to get licensed in order to use the ASC logo on their menus. The use of the ASC and MSC logo sends a clear and strong message to a discerning public about an establishment’s commitment to safeguarding fish stocks for the future and the environmental and social integrity of their cuisine.
The pilot reaches its height just as consumers are increasingly seeking out restaurants with ethical practices. Chefs and other food service providers are beginning to pay greater attention to the concerns of their customers with good reason. In a recent MSC survey, 67 per cent of respondents said they would like to see more sustainable seafood options when dining out.
Participation in the pilot will allow German, Austrian and Swiss restaurants that want to offer ASC or MSC certified seafood to enter into a license agreement without having to undergo an expensive certification process with an independent audit. The terms of the agreement require the restaurant to follow ASC and MSC traceability and logo use guidelines, the establishment must also agree on an unannounced control to assess compliance with these guidelines.
The pilot is targeted to independent operators, and is designed to help restaurants with no more than three sites become ASC and MSC certified.
Celebrating ASC’s German Market influence
Germany is the largest market for the ASC. Currently more than 600 ASC certified products are sold in Germany, a figure that has doubled in the last year. Germany also has more than 110 Chain of Custody (CoC) certification holders and 59 ASC licence applications, more than any other country in the world.