Booths makes stand for hand-dived food

Food and wine retailer, Booths, which has stores in Garstang and Longridge, has decided to stop selling dredged scallops on its fresh fish counters and is sourcing only hand-dived British scallops from The Ethical Shellfish Company, an award winning Hebridean dive-fishing company with a strict fishing and environmental ethos.

Thursday, 21st February 2013, 12:00 pm
Careful catch: Booths says it will sell only hand-dived scallops

The North West based retailer, which has 29 food, wine and grocery stores, is renowned for its sustainable stance on retailing, and is the first and only UK supermarket to map its carbon footprint, and make this information publicly available. The Ethical Shellfish Company is a family run business owned by husband and wife team, Guy and Juliet Grieve, on the Isle of Mull. Working as a diver, Guy was shocked to see the damage being caused to the seabed by intensive fishing methods such as dredging and bottom trawling. He resolved to set up a fishing company which only supports sustainable methods of fishing.

Chris Dee, responsible for buying decisions at Booths, said; “It’s simply the right thing to do if our customers are to continue to buy a range of high quality fish and seafood from our counters.”

“The hand-dived scallops are more succulent and better quality, and while they are more expensive, we feel our customers will support our decision and enjoy a more sustainable scallop of superior quality.”

The dived scallops supplied to Booths have been hand selected by highly skilled dive-fishermen working in some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the British Isles. This method of diving for scallops means that there is no damage to marine plants or animals and no waste or by catch.Chris added: “Sustainability and quality are at the heart of our purchasing decisions and we are proud to be taking an authoritative step towards the sustainable future of our seas and marine life. Our 29 store operation enables us to supply produce from small, artisan companies, like The Ethical Shellfish Company, who would normally be unable fulfill contracts for big retailers, meaning we are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy exceptional food, such as these wonderful hand-dived king scallops off the West Coast of Scotland”.

Guy Grieve from The Ethical Shellfish Company said: “We’re proud to be given this exciting chance to dive fish for Booths. We are also hopeful that Booths’ decision to buy from us will mean that we do not have to export any of our perfect King Scallops abroad. They should be appreciated and savoured in Britain, like so much that is produced on these shores.”