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Fish Friers

Award-winning Towngate recommends new MSC certification process

Article Date: 2016-06-21

Towngate Fisheries in Idle, Bradford have recently piloted a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) online certification process, available via the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), and is now proudly displaying the MSC’s blue ecolabel on their menus and instore. Mark Drummond, owner of the award winning takeaway since 1997, is delighted to have gained MSC certification and found the new application process "remarkably simple, and neither a complicated nor unreasonably expensive procedure.

Mark has been working in the fish and chip industry in Yorkshire for 30 years and is passionate about serving his customers what they want and to the highest standard, which now includes being able to offer them MSC certified sustainable and traceable haddock for their fish dinners.

Mark explains; "People in Yorkshire don’t ask for a specific type of fish – they expect fish and chips to be haddock and chips! …It’s the only fish on our menu, and now all our fish is MSC certified sustainable.
There are some healthy fish and chip options on our menu using MSC haddock and also our own homemade Yorkshire fish cakes made with certified haddock too.”

Mark always felt it was important to serve sustainable fish; "it’s the right thing to do and it’s the future of this industry. Once the Icelandic fishery that I source my fish from became MSC certified, going for certification for the shop was just the logical step for me.

The MSC’s blue ecolabel is very distinctive and an easily recognised fish sustainability logo in retail, so to be able to add it to my menu gives my customers that extra reassurance that the fish they are eating comes from a certified sustainable fishery and is traceable back to their boats.”

Towngate Fisheries sources MSC Icelandic FAS haddock supplied from MSC certified Xpress Fish and HB Grandi.

Mark was so interested in knowing more about this MSC Icelandic haddock that he recently took a trip to Iceland to visit the actual boat and skipper who supply his shop with MSC haddock.

Towngate Fisheries is one of the first fish and chip shops in their area to gain certification and offer MSC fish, and is keen to recommend it to other chippies.
"It’s important for our future generations to source certified sustainable fish, and can be a good marketing tool for your business, particularly if unique in your area.”

Mark hopes others will follow his lead; "this new online process for MSC certification has demonstrated to me, it’s a relatively straight forward procedure and is equivalent to the typical cost of a magazine advert.

George Clark, MSC UK Commercial Manager, is delighted that such a successful takeaway was one of the first to pilot the MSC’s new certification process. "It’s great to see Towngate Fisheries taking the lead in their local area and keen to show their customers exactly where their fish comes from. Now visitors to their takeaway can enjoy quality certified sustainable haddock, with the assurance that it’s sourced from certified sustainable fisheries.”

Fish Friers