Another great association I have been honoured to work with again bringing the first certified product to a restaurant group in the UK.
There were many other supporters such as many retailers and restaurant groups. Tony of Fish was the second group who certified his products and we used to joke that he was upset that I went first & that my IQ was 1% higher than his! But hats off to Tony for taking the step that so many others follow.
One of my favourite projects was to launch a wine that went exceptionally well with fish, yes it was that obvious but we took it a step further with my great old friend Michael Saunders of Bibendum. We chose a white wine from Chile and blended it specifically to fit the bill. Now one of my favourite moments when I visited the vineyard was to go horse riding with the wine maker and we galloped through his vines – just awesome. Anyway wine chosen and partner chosen as Sainsbury’s then with another great friend Alan Cheeseman who sits with me on the wine fair board and who was their wine director at the time agreed to support us. The idea was that we would display the wine just by the fish counter and that 15p went from each bottle to the MSC who used the money to promote awareness. It was a huge hit and a great campaign also helped by Rick Stein who wrote some recipes we added to the bottle.
We had a “face to face” meeting with HRH Prince Charles who again thrilled me with his passion, drive and understanding of the fishery industry. He was an ‘interested party’ who strongly cared about Albatross caught by irresponsible fishing and of course sustainable fishing that we were trying to promote. Just four of us and his body guard and we talked about how to get the message to more people. Prince Charles actually liked the wine project & said thanks!!
I have talked about MSC at various industry conferences (Publican, Harpers Debate, Food Development Conferences & work shops) and if I see a product with its label it goes in the basket and if it doesn’t have one where appropriate I’ll be leaving it on the shelf!