To farm food truly sustainably, the philosophy must be applied to every part of the process – production, distribution and consumption – to preserve diversity in an ecosystem and maintain a species’ longevity.
For the consumer, it means buying produce at farmers’ markets or from smaller producers and often getting better flavour and quality. It’s not always a convenient or inexpensive practice, but if you want to introduce it into your routine start tomorrow, at the Cleanfish Australia market day.
Located in a warehouse down an industrial street in Sydney’s south, the small market has been open every Saturday since November 2013. “When we built the new warehouse to service our restaurant customers, we wanted to offer the public something, too,” says Jules Crocker, director of Joto Fresh Fish (the wholesale business) and the Cleanfish Australia program. “[The market] enables us to deliver the same produce that Sydney’s top restaurants and chefs enjoy. The market supplies restaurants such as Quay, Aria, Bennelong, Rockpool, Red Lantern on Riley, Glass Brasserie, Jonah’s, Lucio’s (and many more).
The market doesn’t have the enormous glass cases of other fish markets, piled with every type of seafood possible. “One of the challenges for Cleanfish is the (sometimes) limited range of products we offer on a week-to-week basis, when measured against a ‘normal’ fish retailer,” says Crocker. “This is because each product must have some type of sustainability credential. We have products from 20–30 different fisheries on any given Saturday; weather and seasonal availability also contribute.”
On any given weekend you could find species such as Lakes and Coorong yelloweye mullet, wild-caught Alaskan sockeye, sashimi-grade bug meat from Queensland, albacore or uni (sea urchin). It also a stocks the excellent Bread & Butter Project(link) bread. The staff is happy to suggest ways to cook the seafood or recommend a type of fish for your taste.
“All our produce comes from a fishery that has been independently audited against a standard such as The Marine Stewardship Council (M.S.C), Friends Of The Sea (FOS), or Global Gap for Aquaculture (GGAP),” says Crocker. Or the product has been endorsed by Cleanfish as sustainable after being audited against its own checklists, which are based on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation checklist. Cleanfish Australia also has a traceability program. It is a guarantee that the market’s customers are getting what they pay for.