Unsustainable sustainability programs

I recently came across a “sustainable seafood program” that was praised despite the fact that it only lasted a promotional period of one week. While the participating restaurants were happy to showcase their involvement in the weeklong event where they featured sustainable seafood dishes sourced from certified suppliers, few continued to use the menu once the event was over.  

Did guests want sustainable seafood dishes? Did the restaurants care, or did they do it for the press coverage? Did the new menu mean the restaurants lost signature dishes? Or was it just difficult or expensive to source from certified suppliers? Do strict sustainable seafood programs in hotels and restaurants that require them to re-engineer menus and find new suppliers form a barrier of entry that scares off even the operators that want to do good?

Here are some questions for you:

  • Do you care?
  • Do you think your consumers care?
  • Have you ever explored sustainable seafood menus?
  • Would you want to redo your menu if an organization like World Wildlife Fund offered free consulting services?
  • Are sustainable seafood options realistic where you’re located?
  • What you didn’t have to change your menu, but you could instead use a globally recognized logo that could indicate dishes that were sustainable (like the veggie options or chef’s recommendations)?

Would love to hear your thoughts!