In our newsletter on Sustainable Seafood Week, we highlighted our sustainable approach. Winning the Best Belgian Supplier category in our sector at the MSC Sustainable Seafood Awards underscores this once again. The awards were hosted in our country for the first time this year.The MSC awards are a boost for companies striving hard to improve their sustainability every day. Naturally, we at Pittman Seafoods are very happy to be recognized in this way.
The well-known quality mark MSC has been publishing a league table of retailers on their site for some time, primarily based on volumes and variety. “The MSC Seafood Awards are, on the one hand, a way for us to increase our focus, and on the other hand, a way for us to explicitly recognise companies that are doing well. At the same time, the awards may motivate other companies to step up their game in terms of sustainability”, says William Morré, MSC’s commercial manager in Belgium.
Six categories, eight winners
Belgium is the third country to host the MSC Sustainable Seafood Awards, after the UK and Australia. In the other two countries, these awards have become major events with more than 15 different categories. For this inaugural event in Belgium, the MSC limited the number of categories to six.”The Belgian seafood sector is not very large, so we didn’t want to differentiate too much. Of course, that does not mean that more categories cannot be added in the future,” William Morré explains.
The awards in the first four categorieswere for: best fresh-fish supermarket, best general supermarket, best national brand and best food-service restaurants. “A parallel selection methodology was used to come up with the short list. We combined objective data on volumes and range, for example, with the way that companies communicate and their approach to sustainability.
Then we submitted our long list to an independent and expert external jury:
– Hans Polet – Scientific director at ILVO, Fisheries and Aquatic Production;
– Sarah Braeye – Project coordinator of Superlijst project at Rikolto;
– Sarah Hennin – Market development manager at the Aquaculture Stewardship Council;
– Jan Kegels – Entrepreneur and business manager of Jean sur Mer.
After a preparatory round and a two-hour debate, three nominees in each category were shortlisted.”
The fifth category took major certified fish species in Belgium as a starting point, specifically, how the linked fisheries in our country perform within the sustainability programme and how they have evolved over the years. Here too, the expert judgement of the jury was followed.
Sustainable solutions, consistent quality
Finally, the winners in each of the first four categories were asked to nominate their choice for the best Belgian MSC-certified supplier. From that list, the MSC selected the three best companies in the sixth category. Pittman Seafoods was among the companies on the short list. We were praised first and foremost for our sustainable solutions and our positive commercial attitude. In addition, according to the companies surveyed, our products never sacrifice quality.
“We felt it was important to also highlight this sixth category, as suppliers are a very important catalyst in terms of sustainability. It came as no surprise to us that Pittman Seafoods made it into the top three. We have a very good cooperative relationship with them, and we are exchanging ideas to improve the way we work on an ongoing basis”, concludes William Morré.
Of course, at Pittman Seafoods, we are enormously proud of this award. For that reason, we would also like to thank all the employees within our organisation who put their shoulders to the wheel every day to achieve our sustainability ambitions.
You can find the full report here:
MSC Sustainable Seafood Awards Belgium | Marine Stewardship Council
The winners in each category –
Category 1: Best fresh-fish supermarket
Category 2: Best supermarket
3. Colruyt Group
Category 3: Best national brand
2. Fish Tales
Category 4: Best food-service restaurants
2. Jean sur Mer Harbor Café
3. Kantine VUB
Category 5: Major MSC-certified fisheries
1. NL mussel sector
2. Alaska pollock fishery
3. Skipjack tuna fisheries
Category 6: Best Belgian suppliers
– NL mussel sector
– Alaska pollock fishery
– Skipjack tuna fisheries