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Welsh NHS Commits to Sustainable Fish in its Hospitals

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

WALES, UK - NHS Wales has committed to serving only sustainable seafood in all its Welsh hospitals. This landmark commitment will remove endangered species from menus and will provide an estimated 850,000 sustainable fish meals per year.

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The NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP) is being recognised by campaign group Sustainable Fish Cities for its decision to serve only sustainable fish such as hoki, cod, mackerel and wild caught salmon, and to remove fish which is considered ‘Fish to Avoid’ by the Marine Conservation Society.

It is the first time that an NHS supplier organisation has made such a commitment, and it will affect almost all the freshly cooked food served to patients in NHS hospitals in Wales.

Sustainable Fish Cities is pushing for caterers and NHS trusts elsewhere in the UK to adopt the same standards.

Mark Roscrow, Director of Procurement Services at NWSSP said: “We are proud to be signatories of the Sustainable Fish City pledge, a public commitment to demonstrate that we value our environment and are keen to ensure our supply chain does not have a negative impact on future generations. This national pledge is just one example of the ethical and sustainable sourcing practice that NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership follows; not just with food but all the commodities we purchase.”

Peter Davies - Sustainable Futures Commissioner, said: “Congratulations to NWSSP – it is fantastic to hear that hospitals in Wales will only be serving fish from sustainable sources. With the Future Generations Bill currently being debated within Welsh Government this couldn’t come at a better time.

Ruth Westcott, Coordinator of Sustainable Fish Cities said: “NHS Wales are showing fantastic responsibility and leadership with this commitment and I hope it will encourage other suppliers and contract caterers to follow suit. So far the majority of NHS caterers in the UK have not taken the pledge, which means that there is a danger that in many parts of the UK, taxpayer’s money is being spent on products that are damaging our fisheries and oceans.”

Only two private hospital food providers and four hospitals or health trusts in England have pledged to remove endangered species and serve sustainable fish. This is despite new requirements which will make demonstrably sustainable fish compulsory in England, which come into force on 1 April 2015.

No trusts in Scotland or Northern Ireland have made the Sustainable Fish Cities pledge yet. However, the pledge has already been adopted by caterers serving nearly four million meals per year in Wales, as part of a campaign led by Food Cardiff and the Sustainable Food Cities network, including nearly all Cardiff’s primary and secondary schools, Cardiff University and the University of South Wales.