Chefs play a vital role as key influencers in the food, culinary and hospitality industries, shaping market and food trends significantly. By exploring a variety of seafood options, chefs not only broaden consumers’ culinary experiences but can help transform the fishing industry and safeguard our oceans and its resources. Chefs who advocate for sustainable seafood practices and only serve ocean friendly seafood contribute to the availability of fish for future generations to relish.
When chefs choose sustainable seafood, they directly shape the seafood supply chain and when they ask the three WWF-SASSI questions when procuring seafood (What species is it?, How was it caught or farmed? And Where does it come from?) they encourage seafood suppliers and producers to increase their transparency, allow for better traceability and move the supply chain toward offering high-quality, sustainable seafood products. Using ocean-friendly species pushes chefs to be more creative and inspires them to create new seafood dishes with unfamiliar and underutilised species opening up their menu offerings and challenging other chefs to push the culinary boundaries – allowing for new gastronomic experiences.
When chefs and restaurants make the public more aware of the environmental impacts of serving species out of season or species that are regarded as unsustainable, it benefits not only the fish species but will have long-term impact on the oceans’ health and have far-reaching socio-economic consequences for the fishing industry and people’s livelihoods.
Every restaurant and its staff have the power to make a difference and you and your establishment become known as a chef that cares for our planet and future seafood lovers!
Sustainable seafood is more than just advocating for the protection of the marine resources, there is a strong business case to be made across the entire supply and value chains within the hospitality industry. More and more chefs are being seen as the new “rockstars” of the world with global platforms like MasterChef, Ultimate Braai Master and other cooking shows reaching new popularity heights and attracting new audiences, both local and global. These platforms coupled with social media has catapulted chefs into the limelight. Through these channels chefs can make significant changes in the industry from raising awareness about sustainable seafood to shifting people’s behaviour.
Working beyond the kitchen, chefs can contribute to national and provincial food policies and advocate for changes in the food system , such as better legislation around food labelling, curbing food loss and waste, and ensuring that suppliers are transparent whilst reporting the sale of illegal or specially protected species. Chefs have a unique yet important story to tell and can help shift systems beyond the culinary and hospitality industry.
WWF-SASSI recognises industry-leading chefs that are engaged in promoting sustainable seafood and honours chefs who take responsibility for seafood choices in their kitchens.
Our WWF-SASSI chef champions are culinary trailblazers who implement seafood sustainability in their restaurants, tell their clients, staff and suppliers about their seafood sustainability practices and inspire consumers by spreading the WWF-SASSI message via social media, events and TV appearances.
*Disclaimer: WWF-SASSI does not endorse or certify restaurants/businesses/establishments but rather works with culinary champions to improve their sustainable seafood offerings and reduce demand for exploited species. The WWF-SASSI logo should not be on menus or displayed in restaurants, please let us know if you see this by emailing us at [email protected]