Laky Zervudachi, Director of Sustainability for Direct Seafoods won the MSC Award for Fresh Fish Food Service Supplier of the Year 2021
Direct Seafoods is proud to have won the Marine Stewardship Council Award for Fresh Fish Food Service Supplier of the Year 2021, recognising its commitment to sustainability, and the diverse range of products offered across the full range of hospitality and food service businesses.
The prestigious award was announced in a ceremony live-streamed from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth.
Direct Seafoods is a national fish supplier made up of 11 regional fishmongers, working directly with fishing ports around the coast of Britain and overseas fisheries, supplying thousands of chefs and food service businesses.
The MSC Award recognises Direct Seafoods’ decision to put sustainability at the heart of its business. The company offers one of the largest ranges of MSC certified products, with more than 160 individual lines, along with support including, menu planning, recipes, training and regular market updates.
Laky Zervudachi, who has held the role of Direct Seafoods Director of Sustainability for more than 15 years, said: “We’re delighted to have won this award. It’s a tribute to the decision to put sustainability at the heart of our business, and to the hard work that all our teams around the country have put into demonstrating that the principles of sustainability are 100% compatible with being a successful fish and seafood supplier.
“It’s also a tribute to the chefs and caterers who make the choice day after day to put fresh, sustainable seafood at the heart of their menus. The hospitality and food service sector is diverse, and a big part of our success has been ensuring that we have an MSC certified product range that meets all their needs.
“Whether it’s fresh fillets and shellfish for Michelin-starred restaurants, gourmet fish cakes for gastropubs, cold water prawns for branded high street restaurants or breaded fish fingers for school caterers, the specialists at each of our depots tailor products to all those menus and more. By working closely with the fishing fleet, we can highlight changing availability and ensure the widest possible choice of fresh fish and seafood for all our customers, as well as make the most of every catch to reduce food waste as far as possible.
“Ultimately, the award is also a tribute to the many consumers who are willing to order a broader range of fish species out of home, and who factor sustainability into their eating out choices. As more younger consumers in particular adopt a flexitarian or pescatarian approach to their diet, they are reducing meat and increasingly opting for fish choices. These consumers also expect sustainability concerns to be factored in by chefs planning menus. That’s not a trend any business can afford to ignore for very long.”
Zervudachi added: “None of this means we can ever be complacent. We work very closely with our partners and continually audit the supply chain to ensure best sustainability practice. We alert our customers to fish and seafood species which are ‘red rated’ and should be avoided, but ultimately we believe the best approach is to support and encourage chefs and caterers to put sustainability at the heart of their buying and menu planning.”
The judging panel was led by MSC UK ambassador, restaurateur, chef and author, Mitch Tonks, along with CJ Jackson, chief executive of Billingsgate Seafood School, Marcus Coleman chief executive of Seafish and Dr Eleanor Adamson, Fisheries Programme Manager at the Fishmongers’ Company.
Seth McCurry, MSC senior commercial manager, UK & Ireland, said: Direct Seafoods has been a longstanding champion of sustainable seafood and supporter of the MSC programme. The company’s continued efforts to educate its customers about sustainability and offer an extensive range of certified species and products is commendable.
“The Direct Seafoods team has demonstrated strong commitment to driving progress of certified sustainable seafood within the UK foodservice sector. I am pleased to be able to recognise the tremendous contributions they have, and continue to make, in our 2021 MSC UK Awards.
Source: Press Release