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Relais & Châteaux are raising awareness of the need to protect our oceans with chefs offering sustainable seafood menus, consisting of sustainable fish products selected in accordance with SeaWeb Europe's recommendations. The association of 540 hotels and restaurants around the world note it is alarming to think that while the demand for seafood is constantly increasing, fishing stocks have reached their limits. Almost 30% of fishing resources are overfished on a global level. In the Northeastern Atlantic, 40% of fishing resources are overfished beyond their ability to regenerate.
Faced with this reality, SeaWeb Europe and Relais & Châteaux chefs are committed to protecting these resources. The association believes chefs play a key role, setting trends within the industry, and can influence both suppliers and consumers. It was chefs and restaurateurs who were responsible for the bluefin tuna's ability to regenerate over time in the Mediterranean.
It is clear that the impact of climate change also poses new constraints to the food chain. Olivier Roellinger, Vice President of Relais & Châteaux, said, “The ocean is an amazing pantry where nothing is lost, but we cannot waste it or destroy it. It is unacceptable to say that the generations to come will no longer be able to eat from the sea.”
Philippe Gombert, International President said, “Relais & Châteaux properties serve as watchmen, protectors of that which is most precious to the region, pathfinders who open the door to the cuisine of the future with responsibility and commitment.”
Meanwhile Hilton Worldwide has reinforced its commitment to the environment by announcing multi-year sustainable seafood goals.
Collaborating with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Hilton has committed to implementing strong, global sustainable seafood goals as part of the company's Travel with Purpose strategy, which was launched in 2011 to use Hilton's passion for hospitality to make a lasting, positive difference in people's lives and the wider world.
Hilton's sustainable seafood goals will comprise the global ban of procurement of endangered species as identified by WWF, and the transition of its seafood purchasing to sustainable and responsible sources. By 2022, Hilton will source at least 25 percent of its total global seafood volume for owned, managed and leased properties from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farms. The remaining seafood will be sourced from fisheries and farms working toward MSC and ASC certification, comprehensive fishery and aquaculture improvement projects, or those listed as "green" on WWF regional seafood guides. WWF will help Hilton measure and report progress to ensure the company is on track to achieve its goals.
This commitment follows Hilton's global ban on shark fin from restaurants and food & beverage facilities in 2014. In 2015, Hilton was first-in-industry to receive MSC chain-of-custody certifications in Europe and Asia. In the Americas, Hilton also sources shrimp from suppliers like Sysco that are committed to sustainable seafood.
Maxime Verstraete, vice president of corporate responsibility, Hilton Worldwide, said, “Identifying, implementing and scaling up responsible sourcing practices is a huge and complex task, but we are committed to addressing the environmental and social impacts of our supply chain - beginning with seafood. We are pleased to work with WWF to further engage our Team Members, suppliers and guests, and leverage our company's size and scale to help protect the world's oceans for current and future generations.”
Caroline Tippett, director of seafood, World Wildlife Fund, said, “By committing to buy more seafood from MSC-certified fisheries and ASC-certified farms around the world, Hilton is sending a strong market demand signal for responsibly sourced seafood. When multinational companies extend their commitments across their global operations, it increases sustainable seafood awareness and demand in various markets, which is especially valuable for those where the concept may be less advanced. In addition, it's particularly important that the company will support MSC and ASC, as they represent the strongest certification programmes for responsible seafood supply.”
As well as collaborating on sustainable seafood, Hilton and WWF are also working together to improve the company's water stewardship, reduce food waste, and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy. These efforts they hope will reduce pressure on fisheries, farms, and watersheds around the world.
Hoteliers interested in enacting their own sustainable food policy can take tips and advice from our free Know How Guide.