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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Booths first supermarket chain to ban dredged scallops

CUMBRIAN food and wine retailers Booths has banned dredged scallops from its sales – the first supermarket in the UK to do so.

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Ditching the trawlers: Rusting trawlers on Mull where The Ethical Shellfish Company is based

The supermarket chain, which has 29 outlets in the north west including Keswick and Penrith, will sell only hand-dived scallops from The Ethical Shellfish Company, a Hebridean dive-fishing company.

Chris Dee, of Booths, said it was “simply the right thing to do.”

“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,” said Mr Dee.

“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.”

He said that, being a smaller store operation, they were able to seal with ‘small, artisan companies’ who would be unable to fulfil contracts for larger supermarkets.

Hand-diving ensured there was no damage to marine plants or animals, and no waste or by-catch, he added.

The Ethical Shellfish Company is a family run business owned by husband-and-wife team, Guy and Juliet Grieve, on the Isle of Mull.

It was developed after Mr Grieve, who worked as a diver, saw the extent of the damage caused to the seabed by dredging and bottom trawling.

Mr Grieve said they were proud to strike a deal with Booths.

“On a personal level, 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,” said Mr Grieve.

“They should be appreciated and savoured in Britain, like so much that is produced on these shores,” he added.

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