This Sustainable Seafood Week, Bidfood is helping to spread the word on sustainable seafood, along with the Marine Stewardship Council and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. From overfishing wild fish populations, unsustainable farming practices, and waste management in-venue, there are so many factors that contribute towards this global issue, which we have simple and effective alternatives for.
‘We celebrate the fisheries, retailers, chefs and restaurants in Australia that support our mission to end overfishing and ensure we have seafood forever.’ 1
Sustainably sourced seafood is close to most of our hearts, with 356 thousand tonnes of seafood consumed in Australia in 2020 2 , it’s a staple in many Australian’s diets. Intrinsically linked to our culture, from ocean to plate, the impact of seafood is unquestionable in Australia’s biodiversity and foodservice economy. Whether it’s exploring our stunning reefs, tucking into a big bowl of prawns at special occasions, picking up a heart-warming serve of fish ‘n’ chips, or indulging in a perfectly cooked salmon portion at dinner – seafood is everywhere and impacts most Australian diets and lifestyles in some way. As a result, we have a profound responsibility as suppliers, customers and consumers to make responsible choices when it comes to offering seafood on menus across the country.
1. Choosing a responsible supplier
Using a risk assessment process to manage supply chain sourcing risks, Bidfood is committed to the role we play as a national foodservice distributor. Currently, Bidfood is the only national foodservice distributor in Australia that is MSC-certified and ASC-certified as a supplier, winning the Aquaculture Stewardship Council award for Best Seafood Importer in March 2021 and the Marine Stewardship Council award for Sustainable Seafood Trailblazer in March 2023, which recognise the effort that’s been put into addressing sustainability concerns for aquacultured products.
2. Responsible sourcing
Products identified with the blue MSC-certified blue fish tick label signify sustainably caught wild seafood, in line with the Marine Stewardship Council’s stringent Fisheries Standard, which is consistently reviewed, expanded and improved upon as industry standard issues arise that require monitoring. Fisheries that are certified to carry this label must uphold the standards set by MSC and make any necessary improvements where advised. The criteria for qualifying as an MSC-certified fishery includes:
- A sustained and healthy population of fish.
- Impacts on ecosystems minimised – this includes minimising bycatches of birds and mammals, and adapting to the effects of climate change in our oceans.
- Responsible and effective management.
Products identified with the green ASC-certified label signify responsibly farmed seafood. The Aquaculture Stewardship Council focuses on a number of key environmental and social impacts for this certification, including standards surrounding:
- Standards for feed quality.
- Standards for seaweed farming and harvesting.
- The farm conditions and environment that the fish develop in.
- The farm conditions and environment for the workers.
‘The current eleven ASC standards cover 17 species groups: abalone; bivalves (clams, mussels, oyster, scallop); flatfish, freshwater trout; pangasius; salmon; seabass, seabream, meagre; seriola and cobia; shrimp; tilapia, and tropical marine finfish. There is also a joint ASC-MSC standard for seaweed.‘ 3
By purchasing from a certified supplier, farmed fish is nothing to rebuff. The rise of aquaculture farms has helped to ease pressure on wild fish populations, raising quality-controlled populations of fish in a monitored, sustainable and healthy environment.
3. Knowing what to buy
Bidfood has full traceability and transparency in their supply chain when it comes to products within our private label portfolio. Look out for the MSC and ASC labels against products under these brands.
Responsibly farmed within the pristine waters of the Norwegian fjords, Nordic Select carries a range of superior quality ASC-certified Atlantic salmon, as well as sustainably caught MSC-certified wild Atlantic cod loins.
A huge range of value-add options and premium seafood trading lines, with a diverse selection of products acquired from MSC-certified sustainably wild-caught fisheries around the world. Individually quick frozen and portion-controlled options mean that you can also minimise your in-venue wastage, cooking what you need when you need it.
A niche range of locally caught seafood, sourced from Australia and New Zealand. Within the range are value-add, MSC-certified sustainably wild caught banana prawns from Australia. There’s also New Zealand southern blue whiting, which has been sourced from an MSC-certified population in the South Island, which has been accredited for well-managed and sustainable fisheries.
Buy sustainable seafood
Read our seafood guide