Fish and chip shops holding the MSC Chain of Custody can now buy from Unique Seafood after the London-based supplier passed the audit itself.
Supplying to over 2,500 fish and chip shops in the UK from its distribution depots in London, Swindon and Cambridge, Unique received its Chain of Custody certificate from the Marine Stewardship Council at the beginning of the month.
A natural step for Unique, which has been sourcing MSC approved cod and haddock caught in the Barents Sea since 2010, the certification means the company can supply to those restaurants and chippies holding the Chain of Custody as well as the growing number of shops looking to take part in the programme. It can also display the distinctive MSC blue logo, giving customers confidence that they are choosing products which are traceable and have been sourced from independently certified fisheries.
Talking to frymagazine.com, Martin Brown, director of retail and distribution at Unique Seafood, said: “As a business we are very keen to carry on this Chain of Custody to allow our customers to buy from us knowing that there is great care and attention focused on the long term sustainability of the products we sell.
“An ever increasing amount of our customers are becoming MSC certified and by raising the awareness across the fish and chip shop trade this can only be beneficial to all.”
The Chain of Custody is a comprehensive traceability program that traces seafood from the point of sale back to an MSC-certified fishery. It also verifies that in every step of the supply chain – from the fisheries, to the processer, to the distributor, and the customer – that MSC-certified seafood is kept separate from noncertified seafood.
To gain the certification, Unique Seafood had to pass an independent, third party audit and undergo surveillance audits to demonstrate it meets the standard.
Commenting on the audit process, Martin added: “We already had the vast majority of systems and traceability in place, but it has been a good learning curve for all our staff to understand what MSC is all about.”
Founded in 1997, Unique Seafood sources fish from around the world with species including cod, haddock mackerel and herring, as well as more exotic varieties such as Denton, Trevally, Tilapia and Catfish.