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Nice one Hugh!

4th March 2014

Did you watch Hugh’s fish fight the other night?

Perennial food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is taking on Tesco again for backtracking on their promises to switch to 100% pole and line caught fish for its own-brand tuna. Despite their pledge, Tesco have managed to sneak in a new brand of tuna – Oriental and Pacific – caught using some controversial and environmentally dubious methods called fish-aggregation devices or “FADs”.

FADs are rafts that attract large shoals of fish, but not just tuna. Threatened species including turtles, sharks and rays also get tangled up in the nets (often 2km wide).

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Not only did Hugh slam them for backtracking on their commitment to sustainability, he took them to task over their high profile ad campaign promising to change its ways following the horsemeat scandal. Running a double-page advert entitled “What burgers have taught us” the ad read: “It’s about the whole food industry. And it has made us realize, we really need to make it better….We know that all of this will only work if we are open about what we do. Seriously. This is it. We are changing.”

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The thing is Tesco, we don’t think you’re changing. Not one bit.

But people are changing. It’s SO great to see photos like these, where customers are voting with their purchasing power and returning their Tesco bought tuna: 

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 Looking at this photo immediately brings Michael Pollan’s quote to mind – “The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world”.

If you’re London based and want to use your vote to vote for sustainable fishing methods check out the wonderful Soleshare.

Soleshare is London’s first Community Supported Fishery and is headed up by Theresa, Jack in London and Martin from his boat in Newhaven.

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Think of it as a veg box, but for fish. You choose how much fish you want and how often you want it. You pay for your share at the beginning of the season and pick it up from a collection hub once and week or fortnight.

Buying direct from Martin means you know exactly where the fish has come from, how it got to from the sea to your plate and precisely where your money is going. And buying direct makes your hard earned money count more. We went to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology meeting last week, where we heard from Dr Moya Kneafsey that every £1 spend on a box scheme contributes £2.59 to the local economy vs. £1 spent in a supermarket only which only contributes £1.49.

The next season starts on 15th (looks like ALL the best things launch on 15th March) for 8 weeks and there are currently 3 pick up points across East London. And luckily for us, there’s a pickup just around the corner from FarmDrop HQ so we’ll be first in line to climb aboard the good ship Soleshare. Hope you can join us!

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