The three shortlisted businesses - Harbourside Fish & Chips and Kingfisher Fish & Chips, both in Plymouth, Devon, and Olley’s Fish Experience in Herne Hill, London - will now compete against each other as they ‘fry’ for glory in the race to bag the prestigious Good Catch Award.
To secure a place as a coveted finalist, the shortlisted businesses have been appraised across a wide variety of judging criteria focusing strongly on the policies and procedures they have in place regarding the responsible sourcing of the fish and shellfish they use in their respective shops. Judges also appraised how well shops performed at educating and informing customers on the sustainability credentials of the seafood they serve including how the fish is caught.
In addition, shops were probed as to how they seek to influence or encourage others in the industry to have a responsible attitude to serving sustainable fish and seafood, and questioned on what their plans were to take sustainability of seafood a step further in their respective businesses over the coming year.
As part of in-depth judging inspections when businesses were visited by an awards auditor,
both the front and back-of-house operational aspects of shops were assessed, along with appraisal of the quality of the fish and chips on offer and the levels of customer service and knowledge provided by staff.
The overall winner of this award category will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held in London in January 2016.
Recognising fish and chip businesses that are leading the way in the sourcing and promotion of sustainable fish and shellfish, the Good Catch Award celebrates fish and chip businesses across the country that are actively working to protect supplies of seafood. It is co-sponsored by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the international ecolabel and certification programme for sustainable fishing practises, and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK charity dedicated to the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.
Co-sponsor George Clark, UK Commercial Manager of MSC, commented: “It continues to be a pleasure to judge this very important and prestigious award. Seeing new and previous applicants for the Good Catch Award operating to this exceptionally high level makes judging it a real challenge as the knowledge, understanding and implementation of sustainability practices at these industry leading businesses continues to improve year on year.
“The three MSC certified businesses that have made it into this shortlist demonstrate the value of MSC certification and how the industry is responding and adapting to the ever increasing availability of certified sustainable seafood. Huge congratulations to all three!”
Co-sponsor Sam Stone, Fisheries & Aquaculture Programme Coordinator of MCS, commented: “We are delighted to see extremely fierce competition for this important award and are thoroughly impressed with these finalists – it gets tougher to make the shortlist for the Good Catch Award every year. Customers visiting these chippies will be very pleased and reassured to find a great range of green rated, certified sustainable and delicious seafood available. Fish lovers should do themselves and our seas a favour and check-out these committed chippies!”
Mel Groundsell, Corporate Relations Director at Seafish, said: “With food provenance driving consumer choice, the question of where and how produce has been sourced has never been more important. The Good Catch Award is imperative to The National Fish & Chip Awards as it represents everything that the awards stand for; ensuring a sustainable future for the fish and chip industry that is passionate about the product.
“The three finalists have gone above and beyond to actively maintain and promote sustainable fishing so that generations to come can enjoy the nation’s favourite takeaway. They are true UK leaders for fish sustainability in the industry; I wish them the best of luck in the next round of judging.”
Culminating in an awards ceremony at The Lancaster London Hotel on 20 January 2016, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses.
For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit www.fishandchipawards.com. Follow @FishnChipAwards on Twitter for all the awards news and information.