Food law and the regulatory framework for artisan and small scale fish, shellfish and bivalve mollusc produce, including hygiene, naming, labelling, sales.

The Sole of Discretion will create a new supply chain which fairly rewards responsible fishers. Consumers will get fresh, high quality fish despatched or frozen within hours of a catch being landed. Sole of Discretion will put provenance, quality and fairness at the heart of its business model. Yes, this is a crowdfunding project, but if you care about food and have a conscience it is one you must seriously consider!

In the High Court last week judgement was given in an important case affecting the rights of small scale fishermen. On one side stood the New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association (NUTFA) representing small inshore fleet fishermen, on the other the United Kingdom Association of Fish Producer Organisations (AFPO), a trade association which almost exclusively represents large fish producers. David and Goliath.

The debasement of ordinary words that have no legal protection has been common enough. Much has been written about the abuse of ‘real’ ‘homemade’, ‘natural’, ‘local’ and ‘artisan’ being but a few examples. Only a few days ago Marion Nestle wrote in The Atlantic posing the question ‘Is 'Natural' the Most Meaningless Word on Your Food Labels?’ Although it was perhaps Dominos Pizza that took the abuse of ‘artisan’ to its most cynically exploited heights in launching  ‘Dominos Artisan Pizza’ as “artisan pizza without the artisan price” while declaring “We’re not Artisans” on the box.

A few weeks back I wrote a piece posing the question: How do we know when fish is sustainable and responsibly sourced? I looked at two then both recent reports, one from the Pew Environment Group and the other from the Marine Conservation Society, apparently at odds with each other on the question whether Marks & Spencer offer sustainable fish. In brief, the disparity boiled down to the fact that compliance with a sustainable fish standard not up to the job does not deliver sustainable fish.

Recently and within a few days of each other two reports emerged on the topic of sustainable fish. One from the PEW Environment Group and one from Marine Conservation Society which on the face of it appear to contradict each other on the extent to which Marks & Spencer offer sustainable fish. It is a case study which illustrates the difficulties inherent in present systems of accreditation and labelling of sustainable fish.