Grimsby company wins eco label award

A GRIMSBY fish merchant is celebrating winning a major eco-label award which should open the door to growth.
Lee Williams, who owns B&L Filleting, has achieved the Marine Stewardship Council chain of custody certification.
The certification is a traceability and segregation standard that tracks the full supply chain from fishing vessel or fish farm to final sale.
It also assures consumers and seafood buyers that MSC labelled seafood comes from a certified sustainable fishery.
‘Getting this involved a lot of hard work, but it was well worth it,’ said Williams. ‘It was a fantastic result for everyone here.’
He is thought to be the only Grimsby contract filleting business with this certification. It will open the way for the cod, haddock and plaice he processes to be bought by the large retailers. He can also sport the all important blue MSC fish symbol.
The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organisation established to address the problem of unsustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies for the future.
Williams, who employs 11 filleters and supplies fish to the larger merchants and processors, is now looking at expanding into traditional fish curing in one of the old smoke houses at his premises in Riby Street.
He says he will need the support of an established retailer or buyer before he goes ahead, but he is already working on the costings.
‘If I do go ahead it will be fish smoked the traditional Grimsby way – none of this kiln stuff.’
He launched B&L Filleting with his father Kenny (now retired) around 17 years ago. He has worked on the docks most of his life, starting out as a barrow boy.
‘It has not all been a bed of roses along the way, but then that is the fish business,’ he said.
His mentor was the late Tommy Rudland.
‘He was a great teacher. He insisted that every box of fish leaving his business should be perfectly packed and in perfect condition. I learned so much from Tommy.’
Williams said the MSC award was designed to raise standards and he was proud to be part of it.