The Swedish chain Sushi Yama has become the first sushi restaurant in the Nordic region to achieve ASC certification. The restaurant chain attained Chain of Custody certificate following a rigorous assessment by the independent certifier Kiwa Sverige.
“Sushi Yama is proud to gain our ASC certificate. We are committed to serving seafood that has been produced with care for the environment, for workers and for local communities,” said Danny Barsoum, Chief Brand Officer at Sushi Yama.
“I am delighted to welcome Sushi Yama to our programme for responsible aquaculture,” said Inger Melander, ASC’s Commercial Marketing Manager Northern Europe.
“We have seen a growing interest in seafood certification from restaurants and food service in Northern Europe. Sushi Yama’s pledge to source and serve responsibly produced seafood is a sign that we are heading in the right direction and that our hard work to promote responsible aquaculture is paying off. I look forward to other restaurants following suit.”
Commitment to responsibly sourced sushi
Sushi Yama is the largest sushi chain in the Nordic region. Having opened the doors to its first restaurant in Stockholm in 2008, the chain has expanded its reach to include 35 outlets across Sweden, whilst also running its own academy for in-service training over the last decade.
“We see more customers asking about the origin of their sushi and how it has been produced,” according to Danny Barsoum.
Such customer interest is confirmation that responsibly produced sushi is not just a passing trend; it is an important aspect for those who love seafood and Japanese cuisine, also for those who serve it. Certified sushi has become an ever-growing success globally, especially in those parts of the world where traceability and provenance of ingredients is strictly regulated.
Certification for traceability
Every company trading in ASC certified seafood must be able to prove that they have effective traceability systems in place by gaining Chain of Custody (CoC) certification to ensure that certified seafood can be traced back to a well-managed farm that minimise its environmental and social impact.
The ASC’s Chain of Custody certification requires that each CoC certificate holder maintain a level of transparency previously unseen in the aquaculture industry. Before an audit begins, a notice is posted on the ASC website. The certification process includes multiple opportunities for public comment and each audit report is posted online to enable public comment well into the final stage of the certification process.
Growing appeal in the Nordic market
The ASC has seen an increased interest in certification and a rapid growth of ASC labelled products in the Nordic market, since the programme was introduced.
The last count of Chain of Custody certification holders stands at more than 80 companies, and more than 700 approved ASC labelled products in Sweden alone.
The Nordic region as a whole, which consists of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, now has a count of nearly 250 Chain of Custody certificate holders and close to 2,000 approved products with the ASC logo.