In continuing to educate culinary students on responsible fishing practices, our Sustainability Coordinator Adriana Sanchez-Lindsay presented “A Sustainable Purchasing Approach” to Chef Marcela Guzman’s Culinary students at the famed Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale.
Adriana’s presentation sought to provide an introductory guide to help culinary students navigate through the world of seafood sustainability. In order to simplify these concepts, she first discussed how Sustainable Seafood means different things to different people and as future Chef’s and consumers, culinary students need to become familiar with the wide variety of certification methods and fishing practices, as it pertains to the seafood they wish to serve their customers.
Her presentation focused primarily on two approaches:
- Follow certification schemes, and as such, only purchase seafood which is certified by the organization of their choice.
2. Follow a Risk Assessment approach using Green, Yellow and Red seafood ratings. In this case, chefs would have to work with their supply chain to determine how the seafood products are rated. In the event of a “Red” rated product, chefs could either choose to not purchase that product (“avoid”) or work with their supplier in the development of a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) to address the issues the fishery faces. This step would imply the chef is taking a “risk” for continuing to source a “red listed” product, but can feel confident that with the development of a FIP, the fishery is on its way to recovery (provided the FIP makes progress). Chefs can then evaluate FIP progress annually and decide whether they would like to continue purchasing from that fishery or that particular species.
Adriana also discussed different fishing methods and their impact on the environment as well as some of the existing NGOs which can provide assistance with either Certification or Risk Assessment.
Finally, chefs were encouraged to use their “purchasing power” to drive change in the industry and work with suppliers to engage them in responsible sourcing practices.