Restaurants Swimming with Sustainability

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Restaurants Swimming with Sustainability

By Bob Ingram - 03/26/2012

The deep blue sea is now the deep green sea with the growing number of foodservice operators who are using responsibly sourced seafood. Indeed, Sysco, the largest foodservice distributor in the U.S., has announced it will only sell sustainable seafood by 2015.

The company will work with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to develop a sustainable fish policy. WWF’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative focuses on making trade and seafood harvesting more sustainable.

Also, Sodexo Inc., which touches the lives of 10 million people daily in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, has announced a Sustainable Seafood Initiative, including a commitment to have 100 percent of its contracted fresh and frozen seafood certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) by 2015.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, whose pioneering Seafood Watch Restaurant Program has long been a sustainable seafood initiative, reports that 67 percent of seafood by dollar volume is sold through restaurants. Many of the nation’s aquariums host sustainable seafood programs that provide shortcuts for foodservice operators seeking helpful resources and personal attention.

The South Carolina Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative, for instance, has a distinct restaurant focus, working directly with dining venues since 2002 to help them improve their seafood sourcing.

Quick-service restaurants (QSR) have been at the forefront of sustainable foodservice seafood. Over the last decade, McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches have been made with Alaskan Pollock, certified by the MSC, and in 2008, Yum! Brands and Long John Silver’s, America’s largest QSR seafood server, released a corporate responsibility report on the company’s long-standing sustainability commitment.