With the launch of Fish Said Fred products, UK consumers can for the first time buy chilled and responsibly produced ASC certified seabream and seabass.
Fish Said Fred is the latest brand from Chessington-based New England Seafood International (NESI) and the products are now available to Ocado shoppers. The brand was created to take some of the confusion out of buying fish, a process which many consumers can find intimidating to navigate. Alongside the products, Fish Said Fred will be supported by a large online presence, using in house social media and a website to support the consumer with the knowledge and skills to cook their fish well. Fish Said Fred will also soon be launching ‘How to Cook’ videos and a boatload of recipes accessible to anyone online.
The seabream product is the first of its kind to be ASC certified in the UK, sourced from NESI’s farming partners in Turkey. The supplying farms are certified against the ASC Seabass, Seabream, and Meagre Standard for responsibly produced farmed fish. The Fish Said Fred product range also includes ASC certified seabass.
“The ASC certificate is only achieved by fish farms that have demonstrated they meet the most stringent requirements for environmental and social responsibility.” said Maud van den Haspel of the ASC. “The first farms were certified against our Seabass and Seabream Standard just last year, so it’s great to see the first certified seabass and seabream available to UK consumers. We believe that the best way to drive up standards in farmed seafood is by rewarding those producers that are minimising their impacts, and you can do just that by buying farmed seafood with the ASC logo on it.”
“Responsible sourcing is the heartbeat of NESI, and we are committed to sourcing from farms working towards environmental and social responsibility in aquaculture” said Ruth Hoban, Sustainability Manager at NESI. “The ASC certificate is a means of recognising these farms and we acknowledge the work our suppliers have dedicated in order to achieve this high standard of certification. NESI is delighted to be able to offer some of the first ASC Mediterranean seabass and seabream to the UK consumer.”
Fish Said Fred is launching to market four very different ASC certified products – Seabass Fillets, Seabass with Lemongrass and Chilli Butter, Butterflied Seabass with Lemon and Parsley and Seabream Fillets. “With our new range we hope to be able to deliver to as wide-ranging audience as possible” said Josh Niemiec, Brand Manager at NESI. “With the help of our friendly attitude and approachable feel, Fish Said Fred is the perfect catalyst to compliment and deliver the ASC message. “
For a product to be ASC certified, not only must it come from an ASC certified farm, but every company in the supply chain from farm to supermarket must also be certified. This is known as the Chain of Custody certification as is vital to providing shoppers with assurance that when they see the ASC label they are only getting certified responsible farmed seafood.
The ASC Seabass, Seabream, and Meagre Standard was launched in 2018 and the first farms were certified in 2019 in Greece and Turkey. There are currently 35 farms certified around the world against the standard.
Like all ASC standards, it covers both environmental and social responsibility. Certified farms must demonstrate that they are meeting a number of strict requirements. These include minimal use of chemicals and antibiotics, preventing fish escapes, monitoring water and seabed quality, and paying and treating staff fairly.