Brakes Group has become the first foodservice supplier to introduce Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified prawns in the UK. Launched at the end of March, Brakes' new ASC certified warm water prawns (F114100 M&J Seafood ASC King Prawns, 1kg nett (31-40/lb)) are a natural compliment to its already industry leading range of sustainably and responsibly sourced fish and seafood.
Now thousands of customers at pubs, hotels, restaurants, schools and hospitals across the UK will enjoy prawns and basa sourced from farms that care for the environment, the people and local communities
Responsible sourcing is a key element of Brakes strategy. Andrew Crawford, Fish & Seafood Category Manager for Brakes, explained how the foodservice provider is looking to grow its range of ASC certified products, starting with the new warm water prawns.
"We want to be seen as market leaders in the provision of sustainably and responsibly sourced fish and seafood, driving the foodservice market in the right direction and the introduction of ASC certified products into our product range will help us to do this," Crawford said. "We are proud to offer the biggest range of sustainable fish and seafood in the UK and we also work closely with our customers to help them meet their own commitments. Ultimately, sourcing sustainably and responsibly is the right thing to do."
Committed to responsibly farmed seafood
In May 2015 Brakes became the first national wholesale foodservice supplier to sign the Sustainable Fish City pledge, committing to source fish and seafood only from demonstrably sustainable and responsible sources for its own brand, general sale range by May 2016.
As a further extension of their commitment to protect the marine environment, Brakes have also added three lines of ASC certified pangasius Basa to their product offerings this month.
"We are gradually tailoring our range to fulfil our commitment and the new ASC certified shrimp and pangasius will help in this process. We have a long history of sustainable fish and seafood initiatives and accomplishments, and looking at our farmed range is the next logical step," continued Crawford.
"It's a significant moment to have the first ASC certified prawn in UK foodservice now available. The UK foodservice market is a global leader is responsible seafood, and this commitment by Brakes to offer not only shrimp, but also ASC certified Basa, is a strong example that responsible aquaculture is good for business," said Esther Luiten, Senior Commercial Marketing Manager for ASC.
"By choosing ASC certified species, Brakes is supporting farms that protect the environment while offering their customers a responsible choice."
Pubs, schools and others food service providers that source ASC certified products from Brakes can apply for an ASC Chain of Custody Certification, which would allow them to use the consumer facing logo. The ASC logo recognises and rewards those who prioritise responsible aquaculture. Furthermore, the logo lets customers know that their meal originates from a responsible source and gives them confidence that their purchase makes a positive contribution to the health of our oceans, local ecosystems and workers' rights.
The ASC certified prawns are sourced from the Vietnamese shrimp farm, Quoc Viet. The family run business was the first Asian shrimp farm to gain ASC certification following independent assessment against the ASC Shrimp Standard.
ASC labelled seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a responsibly managed fish farm. In order to achieve chain of custody certification each company in the supply chain must meet strict requirements and have in place traceability systems that ensure no product mixing or substitutions can occur.