Making Cambridge a Sustainable Fish City

Cambridge Sustainable Food has signed up for the national Sustainable Fish Cities campaign, run by Sustain. Over-exploitation of fish stocks has already led to unprecedented declines in yields, and some scientists estimate that most of the world’s fish stocks could completely collapse within our lifetimes. Sustainable Fish Cities aims for cities to buy, serve, eat, and promote only sustainable fish, so relieving some of the pressure on commercial fish stocks. Cambridge is proud to be taking part in this: we have already achieved the star for higher education in 2015, due to the commitment of university colleges and schools in the area, and hope to further our efforts in the future. Our aim is for Cambridge to be a leading city in serving sustainable fish.

Sustainable fish principles – the pledge

SustainableFishCities2014Under the sustainable fish cities campaign we are awarded stars for recruiting organisations to follow sustainable fish principles. This means promising to:

  • Remove endangered species from your menus and catering
  • Promote sustainable fish choices
  • Help your suppliers to source sustainable fish by explaining what you want and where they can get help.

Would you like to sign up your organisation? You won’t be the first and we can give you all the support you need. Taking this sort of action isn’t just good for the environment, it is good for your business too. To start with it helps to ensure fish stocks for you to serve in years to come. Also, you can use the sustainable fish message to engage strongly with your customers, ensuring they feel comfortable about consuming your product. This is particularly important for corporate customers, who need to ensure social responsibility in their supply chains. If  you would like to know more, look at the national campaign website or contact us .

If you as an individual would like to know more about how to make sustainable fish choices, the Marine Conservation Society good fish guide is a good place to start.

5 Stars for 5 targets

To make Cambridge a truly Sustainable Fish City we have to achieve 5 stars, by reaching 5 targets:

  1. Schools and council catering, such as care homes, libraries, meals on wheels and so on – 2 out of 3
  2. Hospitals – the majority
  3. Universities, colleges and other higher education – the majority
  4. Workplace canteens – at least 10 large employers
  5. Innovation – 5 iconic businesses such as markets, restaurants, or tourist attractions, and an innovative engagement campaign.

There is more information about the targets here

Sustainable Fish in Higher Education

To start with, we have focused our efforts on Higher Education (Star 3) and we are delighted to have achieved the star for this target. Here is a full list of the organisations that have signed up to the sustainable fish cities pledge:

We are grateful to a group of Cambridge University students participating in the Cambridge Hub Social Innovation project, who worked on this project for six weeks in October and November, producing a very helpful report (including a campaign strategy).

Sustainable Fish in local authorities and schools

  • The Leys School – The Leys is a co-educational boarding and day school in Cambridge, which was established in 1875 and has 560 pupils. Leys is a green Flag school, has a comprehensive recycling policy and uses solar energy. Three meals per day are freshly prepared on site, and all the fish served is from demonstrably sustainable sources.

Sustainable Fish in Workplaces 

  • Wintercomfort  – Wintercomfort has supported people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home in Cambridge For over 25 years. They offer people that are sleeping rough, guests at local night shelters, and those living in temporary accommodation or vulnerably housed year-round food, shelter and support. As well as hot, nourishing food, the centre allows users to access help and advice from agencies on housing and health, debt advice, learning and development, arts and sports. They also run Food4Food, a buffet and catering service offering work experience to vulnerable people, and a community café.

Sustainable Fish in Restaurants and Iconic Businesses