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School of Fish: The MSC End of Term Report on sustainable fish in schools 2015


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School of Fish: The MSC End of Term Report on sustainable fish in schools 2015

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School of Fish: The MSC End of Term Report on sustainable fish in schools 2015

  1. 1. Marine Stewardship Council Global Impacts Report 20151 School of fish MSC End of Term Report on sustainable fish in primary schools
  2. 2. Marine Stewardship Council School of fish 2 When we started revising the School Food Standards, fish was always going to be a key component. The evidence is clear: eating fish, and particularly oily fish, is good for developing brains and bodies. But while feeding children well today, we also need to protect their future. That’s why we recommended sustainably-sourced, MSC certified fish. Buying MSC certified fish is a simple way for school caterers to ensure the fish they serve is sustainable, and to communicate that commitment to pupils and parents. It helps make the public sector part of something bigger - a wave of change for the better that is taking place in fisheries around the world. When combined with the MSC’s Fish and Kids programme it not only ensures that children eat sustainably, but helps schools teach our children to be good custodians of the world they will inherit. This report highlights the impact of the School Food Plan on the sourcing of fish in schools. It shows a strong start, though there is still a long way to go. Thousands more school pupils eating sustainable fish, supporting sustainable fishing and learning how to protect the marine environment: that’s a fantastic legacy to leave our children. Since its launch in 2006, over 3,000 schools have joined the MSC’s Fish and Kids programme. Fish and Kids is the MSC’s education programme, working primarily in England and bringing sustainable seafood to children through education and school meals and it fits into the whole school approach to food and sustainable development. The programme teaches children about the importance of protecting the marine environment and explains the journey of our seafood from the sea to their plates. At the same time, it provides an independent menu certification, showing that the fish they are eating for school meals comes from a sustainable source. In the first End of Term Report, in 2014, it was clear that there was a wide range in adoption of MSC labelled fish on school menus. The North and Midlands LEAs performed particularly well, with the South East lagging behind and the South West performing poorly. This year’s report comes in the wake of the School Food Standards which became mandatory in January. The Standards recommend sourcing MSC certified seafood. These are reflected in strong commitments from education sector caterers Alliance in Partnership and ISS Education. The result is an 18% increase in the number of MSC certified schools with 572 schools joining the programme. This was led by the South East region, adding 209 certified schools and the Midlands continuing their drive for sustainable seafood sourcing with a further 164 schools joining their already high- performing area. The formerly poorly performing South West region is also making progress, gaining MSC certification for 47 of their schools. The increase means that one in six primary schools are now serving certified sustainable fish to their pupils. While this is a significant proportion, it still leaves significant room for improvement and the majority of schools are not providing information on the sustainability or provenance of their fish. Introduction from Henry Dimbleby Introduction from the MSC
  3. 3. Marine Stewardship Council School of fish3 ISS Education has achieved MSC certifications for over 400 schools across the UK, with the majority of these in London and the South East. “We’re really proud to have gained the MSC Chain of Custody for so many of our customers and are eager to continue to introduce the MSC scheme to more of the schools we serve. The award helps us to promote the use of sustainably sourced fish in our menus and to spread the word about the importance of making sustainable choices around food more broadly.” Mark Davies, Director of Education, ISS Facility Services Education Amy Teichman, Quality and Nutrition Manager at the Alliance in Partnership Group of Companies comments on the importance MSC certification for the business: “We encourage our schools to promote sustainability throughout the menu and using MSC only fish was a goal from the beginning. We’ve been working with the MSC in schools for the past few years and when we started, there wasn’t much variety available. While we had been serving some MSC fish in all our schools, we couldn’t find enough choice to make all of our products MSC. However, in the last few years, the variety has increased tenfold and it has made it easier for us to make all of our fish MSC and to bring all of our schools to this standard. Now all schools within the AiP Group of Companies are certified MSC.” MSC certified schools in England ©2015Google–Mapdata©2015GeoBasis-DE/BKE(©2009).GoogleImagery©2015TerraMetrics
  4. 4. Marine Stewardship Council School of fish 4 Salmon leading the charge The School Food Standards and a range of new products have seen wild salmon leaping onto school menus. High in long-chain Omega 3 fatty acids, wild-caught salmon, mostly from Alaskan and Canadian fisheries, meets the oily fish requirement of the Standards and has proved a popular choice both with LEAs and pupils. @MSCintheUK © Marine Stewardship Council 2015 James Rasor, Product and Quality Assurance Director at Crown Foods Ltd explains, “Oily fish is a fantastic food source, especially for growing minds and bodies, but feedback showed that such options can sometimes be unappetising for younger palates due to the strong taste compared to white fish alternatives. To combat this, we launched MSC Salmon Fillets Vinegar infused Tempura Batter and MSC Tempura Battered Salmon & Sweet Potato Fishcake products. Both high in Omega 3, we have paired prime MSC certified salmon fillet with innovative flavours to provide flavours that are attractive to a younger audience whilst still offering the wealth of natural properties found in oily fish. With a large customer base around the country, we felt it imperative that our lines carry MSC certification to help promote a future full of fish. Being able to pass this message on to customers and children is fantastic and, since launching last year, over 2 million of these products have been enjoyed already in school menus.” Schools certified since July 2014 by region London 94 North 58 Midlands 164 South East 209 South West 47 Total 572 17% 24 (one in six) of all state funded primary schools are now MSC certified (compared with 14% from last year) new products available for education catering (9 of which are salmon)