Monday, June 15, 2015

15/06/2015: Discounters rise to the top in sustainable fish awards

Aldi has scooped the MSC Convenience Retailer of the Year award at this year’s MSC UK Awards. The discounter shot to the top of the table to win the award with competitor Lidl in close second place. This year’s awards also saw John West win the Canned Fish Brand of the Year award for the first time.

Sainsbury’s consolidated its leading position as Supermarket of the Year for the second year running while Waitrose also managed a second year with their fish counters winning Fish Counter of the Year. Birds Eye’s long-term commitment to sustainable fish saw them take the Frozen Seafood Brand of the Year again.

Toby Middleton, Senior Country Manager for the MSC said: “It was clear after last year’s awards that the competition would be particularly tough in some categories. It’s a huge congratulations to our new winners this year, they have made enormous efforts to reach the top. It’s worth considering as well, those companies that have managed to hang on to their awards for the second year running. Reaching the top is hard, but staying there amid strong competition shows a long-term commitment that is supporting sustainable fishing and helping to drive change at sea.”
Image: Christine McIntosh
The 2015 Awards in full:

UK Supermarket of the Year 2015
Winners for the second year in a row, Sainsbury’s boasts by far the biggest range of MSC own-label products on sale in the UK. Over the past 12 months they’ve built on their past success with MSC tuna and prawn sandwiches and wraps – a UK first. They’ve also introduced MSC dishes on the menu of their customer cafeterias, the first supermarket chain in the world to do so.

UK Convenience Retailer of the Year 2015
The discount retailer taking the grocery trade by storm has also marched into a market-leading position for its range of MSC products. It is not only the number of products on sale, which has shown strong growth, but also the volume of certified seafood sold. Aldi is now selling many of the nation’s favourite species MSC labelled as sustainable, including cod and haddock and fishcakes.

UK Fish Counter of the Year 2015
Waitrose continue to offer the broadest range of MSC products from their seafood counter. The Waitrose Way commitment to have all seafood certified by 2017 underpins the widespread use of the MSC ecolabel at the counter and continues to demonstrate Waitrose putting their plans into action.

UK Frozen Seafood Brand of the Year 2015
Birds Eye
The iconic UK seafood frozen brand, Birds Eye wins the 2015 award for the second year in a row maintaining its position in offering the widest range of MSC products in the freezer isle.

UK Canned Seafood Brand of the Year 2015
John West
John West scoops this year’s canned seafood brand prize for the first time. Despite challenging supply conditions, they were able to maintain the biggest range of MSC certified canned products.

Best UK MSC Restaurant Menu 2015
Olley’s Fish Experience
Olley’s owner, Harry Niazi has made the most of his restaurant’s certification with an incredible range of MSC certified seafood making up a significant proportion of his menu. There is a minimum of 7 species on the menu at any one time and specials often feature MSC items as well.

MSC UK University of the Year 2015
Durham University
Durham University’s tireless promotion of sustainable fish and seafood to their students and their involvement in the MSC’s #fishface campaign are an example to the sector. A special mention goes to Head Chef, John Turner whose promotion of MSC seafood at the university and #fishface fish and chip event for Durham students attracted enormous support from the students.

MSC UK Fish Supplier of the Year 2015
Brakes continues to offer the widest range of MSC products in the foodservice sector and are constantly updating their list of available MSC species and products. They also promote MSC labelled products to their customers and, in May 2015 signed the Sustainable Fish City Pledge.

MSC UK Chef of the Year 2015
Silla Bjerrum
For her work promoting MSC herring and the Hastings fishery. Silla went on a quest to get some inspiration for her dream of putting MSC herring on her menu at Feng Sushi. In doing so she helped promote one of the key MSC certified fisheries in the UK to her customers, Guardian readers and the wider foodservice industry.

MSC UK Special Achievement Award 2015
Dennis Crooks Fish Merchants
MSC certified Scottish haddock has long been a favourite of northern and Scottish MSC certified chippies but it was always a challenge buying it further south. Dennis Crooks made it possible to for restaurants and chippies to buy fresh Scotch haddock all the way down to Devon which is fantastic news for fish and chip shops looking for a fresh and certified sustainable product to turn into the UK's favourite takeaway.

Find out more about World Oceans Day HERE

Visit the MSC website HERE.

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