To achieve real positive change and raise awareness around sustainable fishing, it requires both suppliers and those businesses serving up fish to their punters to lead by example.
On the supplier side, we’ve long been a champion of sustainable fishing and, as an accredited supplier of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), play an active role in protecting fish supplies for this and future generations.
At the customer-facing side of the industry – namely chip shops and restaurants – there are also exemplary businesses doing their bit in the name of sustainable fishing practices.
But there are surely few as active on that score as Colmans – a fish and chip institution in the North East of England that is renowned for its eco-friendly approach to the trade.
What makes the South Shields restaurant and takeaway shop even more impressive is that it has achieved notoriety for its sustainable approach while also being recognised as dishing out one of the tastiest plates of fish and chips in the country.
We’ve supplied fish to Colmans for over 30 years and seen the family-run business flourish and continue its great fish and chip tradition that started in 1926.
Earlier this year it was named the number one traditional chip shop in Britain by men’s lifestyle magazine Esquire.
The magazine’s food editor is Tom Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall’s son, and the publication chose the Tyneside business above takeaway shops in Torquay, London, Suffolk, East Yorkshire, Guernsey and Fife.
Colmans has also been a regular fixture in the Times’ Top 10 UK Fish and Chip Shops and in 2007 was voted Best UK Takeaway at the BBC Food and Farming Awards. Owner Richard Ord, meanwhile, is widely regarded as the best fryer in the North East of England.
Alongside the quality of its food, it has also received plaudits for its eco-friendly ethos and was once described in the press as “the nearest thing to an eco-chippy you’re likely to find”.
The restaurant only serves fish from sustainable grounds and uses additive-free vegetable oil. It also sends its waste fat to be made into bio-fuel.
Perhaps the most important gauge of the quality of a business, however, is customer feedback. And
Colmans certainly delivers there, with respected review site Trip Advisor hosting a seemingly endless stream of positive comments.
So Colmans is proof, if it were needed, that sustainable practices and business success in the fishing industry can go hand in hand.