If you are searching for a truly sustainable supper, you might want to consider using a tin opener!
For many years now we have been preaching to you about the virtues of preserving food using methods like freezing, allowing us to take what’s in abundance and in prime condition, and preserve it for another day, providing more value back to our farmers and wasting less.
With that sentiment in mind, we want to introduce you to a brilliant new range that we are proud to be stocking alongside our sustainably reared Grass Fed meat and dairy. Welcome to the gang Rockfish tinned fish…
Devon Chef, co-founder of the Devon Environment Foundation and proud ambassador for the Marine Stewardship Council, Mitch Tonks, has created a wonderful new range of tinned fish using sustainable and by-catch species that supports the local fishing community. Mitch had become increasingly frustrated in seeing so much of what’s landed on our shores go to waste and the pressure that this not only put on the fishing communities, but on stocking levels of local fish, so he created a product that uses seafood that had little to no market value due to their size, but offered so much when it comes to quality.
By tinning fish it is not only really economical, but it also provides an important role in shoring up the sustainability of seafood. It ensures that 100% of the catch is eaten, not wasted. If a fish is landed that is deemed underweight, if it isn’t snapped up to be used as bate, transported to the continent to become highly processed pet food, it will be wasted. All three of these potential outcomes do nothing in the way of supporting our fishing community or utilising what is perfectly good food for our own consumption.
Perhaps if we found a way to consume everything that was caught, we wouldn’t need to see the continued intensification of fishing, as we simply wouldn’t need to trawl the seas as frequently?
Mitch’s clever resolution to the problem was to look to our thrifty friends on the continent. Tinned fish has been produced for centuries in countries like Spain, France and Portugal where a wide range of species of fish and shellfish are preserved in this way. The perception of tinned fish in these countries is as a premium product and it is celebrated in bars and restaurants, often in the form of Tapas, as well as in homes where family recipes often include tinned fish from the larder.
In the UK we are familiar with canned tuna, but with increasing concerns around quality and the ethics of sourcing it has become a minefield to truly know what’s on your plate. Other than often grey, smelly, tinned tuna, historically British consumers have had very little exposure to tinned seafood. Due to this gap in our food culture, there isn’t the specialism in the UK to take this product from shore to the door with quality canneries like there is on the continent.
“We searched for the best canning partner and decide to work with Jose Pena, a generational business with the same values as us and deep knowledge of seafood and the process.” says Mitch.
“We have been working on expanding the range selecting seafood in the same way a wine grower would look at the terroir and the classification taking into account the catch methods, environment and seasonality. All our tinned fish is produced entirely by hand, that means the catching when hauling nets or using hook and line and cooking, skinning, filleting and then hand laying in tins. We want to make seafood mainstream in the UK and help people enjoy the wonderful seafood of Britain. Tinned fish is wonderfully versatile and economical.”
This is British seafood done right. Good fish that’s good for you, our oceans and our fishing community.