With the support of Postelsia, the James Beard Foundation remains committed to sustainability and relaunches a new and improved Smart Catch program nationwide
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2022
New York, NY - The James Beard Foundation officially relaunches the Smart Catch program via chef events in New York and California in March 2022, showcasing curated storied seafood products from around the world.
"Smart Catch is an important program for the Foundation, as it epitomizes the transformative, positive impact that chefs can have on the environment through their menu decisions," says Anne E. McBride, PhD, Vice President of Programs at JBF. "We are thrilled to bring this program back with the support of our partner Postelsia, with a renewed vision that acknowledges that change is a never a finished project, but ongoing, daily progress."
Smart Catch is an educational program created by chefs for chefs with the purpose of increasing the sustainability of the seafood offered on menus. Chefs are uniquely positioned to create positive change in seafood supply chains and influence consumer behavior. While Smart Catch recognizes the best performers, the program emphasizes the importance of improvement in both the culinary space and in seafood supply chains. By connecting producers to chefs, Smart Catch aims to create positive change on the water and for all the people connected to it.
Sustainability needs a more holistic and inclusive approach, and improvement, not just best performance, both in restaurants and supply chains should be encouraged and celebrated. Through Smart Catch, chefs have a chance to use their influence to lead industry efforts to maintain healthy, sustainable food sources today and for future generations.
“I have been a huge supporter of sustainable seafood for over 25 years so I was excited to reintroduce the Smart Catch program to other chefs and restaurateurs in Los Angeles. Consumers buy the vast majority of their seafood from restaurants, so our industry has the potential to make a huge impact by making smarter seafood choices,” says chef Mary Sue Milliken.
Postelsia is the sustainability partner to the James Beard Foundation and has operated the Smart Catch program since 2016. “We are thrilled to be re-launching the Smart Catch program and have been working hard to create a new and improved program to have an even greater impact,” says Laura Peet, Vice President of Operations and Co-Founder at Postelsia. “It feels good to be able to once again celebrate chefs and restaurants that are committed to seafood sustainability.”
The relaunch of Smart Catch includes promotional events in Los Angeles, CA at Socalo California Canteen & Mexican Pub, and at the historic James Beard House in Manhattan, NY. “Sustainable seafood should be the obvious choice for restaurant owners when quality, taste and versatility are of the utmost importance,” says chef Jennifer Hill Booker. The event in Los Angeles coincides with the second annual Re:Her festival, celebrating women restaurateurs on a mission to empower and advance all women identifying food and drink entrepreneurs by way of innovative platforms.
The events are made possible by the generous support of Sea Tech Trading and the Japan Fisheries Agency. “Our organization is proud to support the Smart Catch program and raise awareness of sustainably produced sea bream from Japan. We are excited to support chefs who want to use their influence in leading industry efforts to create a more sustainable food system. It is great to have the opportunity to showcase Japanese efforts on this front,” says Nemo Glassman, CEO of Sea Tech Trading.
Several seafood products were showcased and celebrated including premium antibiotic-free Sea Bream from Japan along with other products from the SakanaBlue collection. Riverence Trout from Idaho, Selva Shrimp from Vietnam, Kvaroy Arctic Salmon from Norway, American Unagi from Maine, and California Market Squid also made an appearance on the event menus. Chef Susan Feniger of Socalo in Los Angeles shares, “It was wonderful to have close to 100 chefs together at one event and reconnect them to Smart Catch. We’re happy to have Smart Catch back on track again so we have all the tools we need to make better purchasing decisions.”
ABOUT THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION
The James Beard Foundation celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for GoodTM. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the James Beard Foundation launched the Open for Good campaign to ensure that independent restaurants not only survive, but that the industry is able to rebuild stronger than before. For more information, subscribe to the digital newsletter Beard Bites and follow @beardfoundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Clubhouse. The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501c(3) organization based in New York City.
Postelsia believes that improvements in seafood need to foster equity and shared value across the supply chain. In creating innovative solutions with producers, Postelsia aims to connect its projects to consumers, retailers, and chefs who have a strong commitment to responsibly produced seafood. Postelsia provides a range of programs and consulting services designed to manage risks to buyers associated with social and environmental impacts, and also to help maximize value for the producers themselves. In constant evolution and growth as a company, and as the newest division of Where Food Comes From, a Colorado-based company that offers a wide array of verification and certification services, Postelsia continues to innovate through partnerships and integrated technology.
ABOUT SEA TECH TRADING
Sea Tech Trading supports the growth of seafood producers through international market initiatives, technology development, and sustainability improvements. Japan has long been known for the highest quality of seafood and now partnerships with the Japanese government and key players in the industry has allowed Sea Tech Trading to bring topics such as carbon neutrality, transparency, traceability, and sustainable farming and fishing practices to the forefront of the Japanese seafood industry.
Vice President of Operations & Co-Founder
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