Faircatch is a family business, run by Ilona and Guy and a freelance team that includes a number of our friends and family.
We’re not eco-warriors by any stretch, but we are environmentally conscious and try to mitigate the effects of our consumption on the environment – minimising waste by re-using and recycling, cycling and walking where we can, and trying to buy as often as we can from small, independent, local producers with sustainable practices and ethical policies.
Having come across the Community Supported Fishery model in the US, and on documentary series such as the Fishermen’s Apprentice with Monty Halls, we thought this was a chance to bring fresher, more sustainably caught fish to our neighbourhood, encourage people to consume a wider range of delicious locally-caught fish, support day boat fishermen and their communities by paying them a fair price and earn a modest living in the process.
Prior to embarking on this enterprise, we didn’t eat much fresh fish at home, for a number of reasons. At the supermarket, the selection was uninspiring and we knew much of it could be a week or two old. Very few fishmongers remain in our area but those that have can be expensive and they’re not conveniently located for us. We love farmer’s markets but in some of the affluent enclaves of south-west London, they are prohibitively expensive and often only affordable to the highest earners among us. Now, we are eating the freshest possible fish at least twice a week and expanding our repertoire in terms of species and recipes. We also get the warm feeling of knowing we are supporting some very hard working fishermen and know exactly the quality of what we are feeding our children.
The Community Supported Fishery model is also a collaborative entity – it only works if a community participates in sufficient numbers. It also requires ongoing commitment for the economic and environmental aims to be realised, which is why all CSFs work on a subscription or “seasons”. By choosing collection points that are convenient for our community (close to a school, a station, or on the walking route home from work for many), we hope to offer people an easy and affordable alternative to supermarket hegemony.
We sincerely hope that Faircatch will become not just a place to buy fantastic fresh fish, but contribute to a sense of cohesion and neighbourliness, providing a mechanism through which we can all learn more about sustainable consumption and how best to prepare the wonderful range of fish landed to our closest coast.
One of the values we’re resolved to maintaining in all facets of this enterprise is transparency. That’s why in the “our fishermen” section, you will soon find some details about all the fishermen who supply us, their boats, their families and of course, their catch.