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Sainsbury Launches Switch the Fish Campaign

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Sainsbury Launches Switch the Fish Campaign

Sainsbury Launches Switch the Fish Campaign
January 25
14:40 2013

Sainsbury has launched its ‘Switch the Fish’ campaign in 2013 by giving away seven tonnes of lesser known British fish (lemon sole, mussels, Cornish sardines, coley fillets and loch trout fillets) to encourage customers to expand their food repertoire and eat alternative species.

The Switch the Fish campaign has been launched alongside new research from Sainsbury’s which shows cookbooks aimed at families and children continue to encourage the consumption of the Big Five species (cod, haddock, tuna, salmon and prawns).

The research, which analysed the top 25 children’s and family cookbooks in the UK, shows that 78% of all fish recipes required one of the Big Five species. Across all fish recipes salmon was the most commonly featured fish (25%), followed by prawns (14%) and tuna (14%). Of the 22% of recipes which contained alternative species, mackerel came out on top, included in 5% of all fish recipes, followed by trout and seabass (2% each). Perhaps most worrying, only three books across the whole sample, contained messages about sustainability and the importance of using lesser known species.

Sainsbury’s hopes that the Switch the Fish campaign will better help educate consumers about making sustainable choices. As part of Sainsbury’s commitment, 18,000 counters colleagues have gone through training at the Sainsbury’s food colleges.

Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, comments: “Sainsbury’s is committed to fishing responsibly and helping change UK fish eating habits. We know our customers care about responsibly sourced food and this is a great opportunity for them to try some alternative British fish for free. This year Switch the Fish is set to be bigger, together with our colleague training and partnership with Fishermen’s Mission, we are working towards sustainable fish for the future.”

This launch is the latest in a series of high profile awareness campaigns of sustainable fish, which included Sainsbury’s first Switch the Fish initiative in 2011. It also follows a major study from Sainsbury’s into fish consumption and attitudes in the UK. The ‘Our future with fish’ report revealed a marked shift in consumer buying habits as more and more people purchase lesser known, alternative fish which are more abundant in our oceans and that by 2030 over half (52%) of all fish products sold will be outside of the UK’s most popular Big Five species.

Sainsbury’s is Britain’s biggest retailer for certified sustainable fish and by 2020, all fish that Sainsbury’s sells will be independently certified as sustainable. This forms part of Sainsbury’s 20×20 Sustainability Plan which is made up of 20 stretching goals that Sainsbury’s has committed to achieve by the year 2020, including sourcing products responsibly, preserving the environment for the long haul and offering customers healthier shopping baskets.


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