THE SEAFOOD SPECIALIST

Provenance Is King

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Provenance. Perhaps one of the most overused of all foodie buzzwords to have appeared in the past few years. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it means:

*The place of origin or earliest known history of something.
*The beginning of something’s existence; something’s origin.
*A record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.

Trawler Starlight PD - 165When you apply this to food therefore, you’re giving it a stamp of assurance and quality; guaranteeing its origins and geographical birth.  For those of us who care about where we source our meat and fish, the seasonality of our veggies and the ethos of our suppliers, this is an important piece of information.   It lets us know we’re doing our bit for planet and producer and ensures we’re making ethical choices while enjoying food at its very best.

But how do you know that the promise you’ve been provided is pure? Following recent traceability scandals such as horsemeat in burgers and the widespread debasement of cheap chicken breast with pig and beef proteins we have all become a little more consumer-savvy when it comes to checking the credibility of any food source.

Here at George Campbell & Sons we’ve been working with Scotland’s fishing industry for over 140 years and ever since our first retail shop opened in 1872 our ambition was to create a reputation for providing the finest fresh fish, shell fish and smoked fish in Scotland.  Of course, back then there was little or no need to check on ‘provenance’ but four generations of Campbells later and an entirely new global marketplace at our fingertips and things are very different. We know that in order to guarantee the passion for provenance that remains at our heart, we have to provide a fail-proof system of checks and balances.

Luckily, in this new age of whole-selling fish and seafood, we are blessed with technological opportunities young George Campbell would never have dreamed possible!  At the click of a button we are now in a position to trace the origins of every single fish for sale on our George Campbell counter.

Here’s how it works:

Trawler Starlight PD - 340Karen and Dawn in our Whitefriars office are the official GC Boatspotters and they take their roles very seriously. In fact, there are even posters of the boats up on the walls; a bit like you’d see in a teenage fangirl bedroom only with fewer young heartthrob singers and more old fishermen in oils and wellies!

Peterhead, Scrabster and Shetland are all on their radar and each morning they’ll check in to see exactly how many fish have been landed, what species there are on offer for our customers and from which boat they’ve arrived.

When you consider that a typical day at Peterhead alone can land as many as 6000 boxes you’ll begin to realise just how incredibly fortunate we are; having direct access to the amazing variety, quality and freshness of Scottish fish is what underwrites our promise of provenance to you, our customers.

Trawler Starlight & Starlight BaysAs a responsible retailer, this detailed information also encourages us to think outside the salmon/haddock/cod box by keeping abreast of the gloriously tasty, highly under-utilised native species that come in each day.   Think monkfish or coley, served up with stir-fried veggies or popped into a stew for a fabulous mid-week supper that won’t break the bank or upset the carefully balanced quotas of our native waters.   If you’ve any questions on how to cook the more unusual varieties then please do ask one of our guys – we’d all be delighted to help.

The same goes for checking our sources; if you want to know the name of the boat your fish landed on, the area of Scottish water they were in or the market it came through then please do just drop us an email.   Provenance always has, and always will be, our favourite buzzword of the day.

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