Catch of the day

Heathrow becomes the world’s first Sustainable Fish Airport – impacting all F&B across five terminals and four million meals each year

Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, recently crowned Heathrow the world’s first Sustainable Fish Airport.

The award is the outcome of an airport-wide initiative, involving all food & beverage partners across five terminals, from family-favourites to fine dining. Every partner at Heathrow has investigated the source of their seafood and committed to removing ‘red-rated’ fish (those considered the least sustainable by the Marine Conservation Society) within the year, ensuring a traceable, sustainable supply chain.

As Europe’s busiest airport, catering to over 80 million passengers each year, this translates to four million fish meals per year.

Heathrow F&B partners are adopting a sustainable fish buying policy, and for some the influence of this initiative has already rippled beyond the airport itself. A number of national restaurant groups, including Yo! and The Restaurant Group (which operates outlets including Giraffe and Comptoir Libanais) have adopted the principles of the Sustainable Fish Airport Initiative across all their operations.

Italian restaurant group Carluccio’s is introducing the public to some sustainable British seafood species that aren’t often on menus, including clams, mussels and crab.

As Europe’s busiest airport, catering to over 80 million passengers each year, this translates to four million fish meals per year.

Delaware North was the first contract caterer to take the pledge within Heathrow and has already excluded all fish that isn’t given a good sustainability rating by the Marine Conservation Society.

Yo! is the outlet with the widest range of fish species on its menu. Ensuring its most important ingredient is traceable and responsibly sourced has always been a priority for YO!

“Ever since we opened our first YO! more than 20 years ago, we’ve been committed to serving responsibly sourced fish and seafood,” Yo! Head of Customer Experience Charlotte Whalley said. “It’s wonderful to be part of a community of like-minded businesses at Heathrow: Sustainable Fish Airport, dedicated to preserving the future of our oceans.”

Plane and simple: Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in T5 is one of the F&B partners to have signed up to the sustainability initiative

Heathrow Airport Head of Food & Beverage Ben Crowley commented: “Our partners have demonstrated outstanding commitment to delivering sustainable fish options to every passenger that passes through Heathrow, and we’re immensely proud to be able to offer travellers the very best, while showing that quality and taste need not cost the ocean.

“The full process to reach the accreditation has included revising the sourcing of family favourites, including cod and salmon, so that they meet the highest standards of sustainability; creating new dishes with delicious sustainable species, such as coley; and redesigning menus to make choosing sustainable options clear and easy.”

Ruth Westcott, Co-ordinator of the Sustainable Fish Airports campaign, said great things can be achieved when businesses work together on sustainable fish sourcing.

“Heathrow have proven that airports can be a catalyst for change, and I look forward to the next airport that will step up to the plate and become leaders in tackling overfishing,” Westcott said.

The Foodie Report | 25 June 2019