Italian seafood fans can now enjoy responsibly-sourced poke thanks to I LOVE POKE, the first poke chain to offer ASC and MSC certified seafood. Currently, sixty I LOVE POKE stores in Italy are ASC and MSC certified, meaning all of their salmon comes from certified farms and all their tuna comes from certified fisheries. This number is destined to grow as more stores achieve certification.
I LOVE POKE operates over one hundred stores throughout Italy after setting up the first pokeria in the country in 2017, and is once again acting as a pioneer with this commitment to responsible seafood.
I LOVE POKE was founded by Dr Rana Edwards and Michael Lewis, who wanted to bring the Hawaiian food to Italy, but who have also had a strong desire to ensure their business is as environmentally friendly as possible.
They said: “I LOVE POKE wants to have a leading role in the field of sustainability and become a good example to follow, just as we did four years ago with the intuition of bringing the famous Hawaiian dish to Italy. The desire to build a “green” business has always been in our DNA: We are also committed to zero-waste production, and research our suppliers to ensure they are committed to sustainability.”
Esther Luiten, Commercial Director at the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, adds: “We are excited that I LOVE POKE now includes ASC and MSC certified products in its menu because it means seafood-lovers can make the right choice even when they’re eating out. In foodservice, important steps forward are needed in terms of the sustainability of fish products, we hope that the choice of I LOVE POKE will inspire other operators in Italy and beyond.”
Restaurants like I LOVE POKE can apply for Chain of Custody certification. This enables them to source and sell certified seafood with the ASC label. Chain of Custody certification is required by every single business in the supply chain, from farm to consumer. Certified businesses must demonstrate they are properly handling certified products and keeping them separate from non-certified. It means customers can be confident that ASC labelled seafood really is from certified sources.