Responsible vs sustainable

Responsible vs sustainable -- what’s the difference??

Sustainable – food production methods which can be maintained indefinitely and which to not deplete resources for future generations.

Sustainable fish farms and fully certified MSC fisheries can claim to be sustainable. This definition is well understood by the public. And very well understood by that all-important restaurant going group of so called millennials (born 1980 to 2000, aged up to 35).


Responsible – food produced to current legislation which may or may not have its basis in conservation of natural resources.

For example, adherence to uncertified or current legal fishing quotas set outside scientific guidance is responsible, but not sustainable. Landing of wild Atlantic halibut as bycatch is legal but every effort should be made to keep them alive and return them to the sea but 1500 tonnes of this tragic bycatch was landed in the UK last year. Trawling for sea bass continues despite scientific evidence of stocks close to collapse. The well documented destruction of sea-beds continues with scallop dredgers, all perfectly legal. All very confusing.

Some 4000 UK restaurateurs have recognised the advantages of giving clear messages to their customers and have joined the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). The message is clear, sustainable sourcing is the only way forward in the future.


Sustainable Restaurant Association