Just when you think we’re moving on from all the horsemeat stories and the scandal of the terrible supply chain cover-ups, along comes another story to disappoint us.
This time fish is the victim. A large amount of fish has been found to be mislabelled, with cheaper fish being sold as much more expensive varieties. Some traces tested have actually been found to be completely new varieties of fish not previously consumed. Apparently, around 7% of cod and haddock sold in Britain is not actually cod or haddock, but cheaper fish that is used to save restaurants, suppliers and retailers money. And similar results have been found around the world.
Much like the horsemeat news scandal, this fish cover up not only angers consumers because they may have eaten cheap or poor quality fish, but more frustratingly, because they have been mis-sold a product. How can you trust what you buy from a restaurant or shop if it may not be what it is labelled? With fish and seafood this can also be particularly troublesome as many people have dietary requirements or try to buy fish that complies with conservation regulations.
As Kimberly Warner, a scientist with Oceana lobbying group and quoted in the BBC article, says: “If you are going to pay for a wild seafood product, and you want to choose that seafood carefully for your health or for conservation concerns, you will not have that opportunity if you are just being served anything which the industry wants to serve up to you.”
This problem has its roots in the supply chain again. With long, untraceable and opaque supply chains, customers are never going to be 100% sure they know what they are buying. If fish are caught, frozen and labelled straight away by the fishermen and then are sent straight out to distributors who tell their customers exactly where their fish is from – the fishermen, boats and all, then this deception would never happen.
Luckily, Farmer’s Choice are proud to say that this is the process with all of our fish and seafood. We source our products from responsible fishing schemes and actually know the fishermen who supply it to us personally. We source our fish and seafood from British waters where possible, and as our main partner fishermen is based up in the Orkney Islands, and the fish is frozen straight away to seal in the freshness before being sent out to our customers. This traceable, short and transparent supply chain means fish you order from Farmer’s Choice should never be mislabelled and you will get the delicious, responsibly sourced fish you asked for. So we hope this fish scandal news piece won’t put you off buying fish from Farmer’s Choice – we make sure it’s clear there’s no fishy business going on with our supply chain!