The Good Food Awards celebrates the sustainable food movement at sea with our preserved fish category. Now the catch from our oceans, lakes, rivers and streams has a platform all its own, with help from Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® and Fish Revolution. To honor the work of chefs experimenting in these waters, we welcome restaurants with in-house curing, smoking and preserving programs to submit their entries. From salmon rillettes to jarred oysters and trout roe, we’re proud to cast our net wider into the responsible fishing community.
The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the fish community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the fish standard are and who will be judging this year.
Founder & CEO, Neptune Snacks
Neptune is a mission-driven snack food brand that makes fish jerky and other sustainable ocean snacks. The company seeks to ‘Restore Humankind’s Healthy Relationship with the Sea’ and to diversify the American seafood market through offering the most storied, responsibly sourced seafood as delicious, nutritious snacks. Every packet is 100% traceable to the US West Coast fish, fisherman, and fishery it was caught. Neptune’s model is based on science at the source, verifiable certification, and utilizing premium quality “underloved” species and cuts to their highest purpose.
Director of Operations and Culinary Programs, Bon Appetit
Owner, Eric Stone Specialty Sales
Community Engagement Coordinator, Seattle Good Business Network
Writer/Consultant, Mon Appetit
Farm to School Lead, Washington State Department of Agriculture
In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, preserved fish entries must meet the following standards:
- Caught or farmed in US waters.*
- Processed and handcrafted in the USA or US territories.
- Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.
- All ingredients, animal or otherwise, must be sustainably sourced, traceable, non- GMO, and wherever possible grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.**
- Caught or farmed with respect and fair compensation for everyone working on the vessel, farm and in the kitchen.
- Made with fish or shellfish or seaweed from well-managed, environmentally responsible fisheries and farms. Farmed finfish must be from land-based facilities, and fed a non-GMO diet free of animal by-products.
- All wild caught or farmed fish must be rated “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch®.***
- Swordfish must be caught in US waters using harpoons, handlines or deep-set buoy gear only.
- Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,**** as exemplified through integrating these practices:
- Creating a safe and healthy work environment where employees receive a fair wage, are safe and respected at work and have access to the resources they need to keep themselves healthy.
- Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
- Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
- For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.****
In addition, all seaweed entries must be harvested or farmed in compliance with the following standards:
- Ensures purchase of seaweed from farmer prior to harvest.
- Post-harvest processing of seaweed is done within 24 hours, or 1 week if refrigerated, to maintain product quality.
- With an emphasis on encouraging the symbiotic relationships of species.
- In a way that sustains regenerative life cycles, with thought for the specific needs of different species to ensure the success of future harvests.
- With an emphasis on maintaining a safe distance from hazardous waste streams and tidal currents.
Many thanks to our friends at Monterey Bay Seafood Watch® and Fish Revolution for their assistance in developing our criteria.
*For producers working close to the borders of Mexico or Canada, the Good Food Foundation will evaluate based on a case by case basis.
**If less than 2% of ingredients in the product do not meet this stipulation, the product will not be disqualified.
*** The Good Food Foundation will refer to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Guiding Principles should there be any question as to eligibility based on these criteria. Species that are not rated by Seafood Watch will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any eligibility questions.
****Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the additional criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.
Additionally, fish entries must fit within one of the following subcategories (vegetarian and/or vegan substitutes are permitted):
- Seaweed (e.g. Nori Crisps, Kelp Noodles, Furikake)
- Smoked Seafood & Gravlax
- Pates & Rilletes
- Roe, Ikura & Caviar
- Water- and oil-packed