Alan Whitehead MP Launches Switch the Fish


Sainsburys Switch the FishSainsbury’s Portswood are one of many stores across the country launching the latest initiative in promoting the buying of sustainable fish sources. Currently 80% of all fish bought falls in to the category of ‘The Big 5’ which are being fished beyond sustainable means.

Alan Whitehead MP visited the Sainsbury’s Portswood store on Friday 25th January to launch the Switch the Fish campaign where customers were given the option of taking home a free portion of fish in replacement of their normal choice.

The initiative is being carried out in 495 Sainsburys across the country. The free portion of Coley, Lemon Sole, Mussels, Loch Trout or Cornish Sardines was accompanied by a booklet with information on the scheme and recipe ideas. It is estimated that 71% of residents in Southampton have never tried a fish outside of the Big 5 despite the rapidly decreasing wild populations.

We know our customers care about responsibly sourced food and this is a great opportunity for them to try alternative British fish for free

Sainsburys CEO Justin King

Dont worry if you missed out on Friday though because you can still do your bit. Sainsburys are teaming up with the Fishermens Mission, a charity which supports fishermen and their families, for every pack of under utilised fish aka a fish not in the Big 5, sold in the next three weeks they will donate 5p to the charity.



Discussion4 Comments

  1. avatar

    I am more concerned about the sustainability of Portswood shops than I am about yet another article promoting Sainsbury’s right now. Why does there seem to be such a stream of articles about Sainsbury in the Wessex Scene – are they sponsoring Wessex Scene in some way? Or are they just sending regular press releases to the Wessex Scene? Perhaps for balance there should be some interviews with some of the shopkeepers in Portswood, to see how they are struggling since Sainsbury arrived, an unwanted eye sore to many of us..

    I am still very disappointed Sainsbury applied to extend their hours, and built a bigger store than originally intended. I have seen little of the promised benefits to the community, and the restrictions put in place to try and protect the small shop keepers seem to be being swept away one by one.

    I would hope that people support the smaller shops that were here first, such as Portswood Hardware, the Co-op, and Waitrose, before spending a penny in Sainsburys. It is simply too big for Portswood, and I am concerned for the existing businesses we all know and love which have had premises here for decades.

    Josh Cox

    Hi Ed,

    There were only two articles about Sainsbury’s none of which are actually actively telling people to shop there. One was about the Basics range, which in part wasn’t actually supportive of the store. This one is simply promoting a campaign promoting the purchasing of sustainable fish sources. Wherever people buy their fish it is important for people to understand that some fish sources are depleting rapidly. This campaign infact highlights some key issues with fish.

    What I don’t understand is why you’re so against the store. Co-op and Waitrose are both national companies, who, in part are taking trade away from local companies, so in my opinion that claim is slightly odd. Waitrose and Co-op, Sainsbury’s included will steal trade from local butchers, fishmongers and other outlets. So asking people to support these stores is contradictory to your argument.

    Sainsbury’s provided jobs for the local area. I have met many staff in the store who now have a steady wage and job security because of the store opening. Sainsbury’s do a lot of charity work, they have raised over £65 million for Comic Relief, and over £6,000 in the past year for the stores charity of the year. They also provide community grants for local causes (they recently donated £350 to a local under 8s football team for kit and equipment). If you can’t see what they are doing why don’t you ask them as opposed to simply bad mouthing.


    Again, Josh Cox works as a pr for sainsburys. Conflict of interest

  2. avatar
    Gabriela Discenza

    I personally think that we should be discouraging people from consuming fish despite its well known nutritional qualities. Fishing is one of the most inefficient ways of obtaining nutrients as a lot of the fish that is caught is simply thrown back or fed to other fish in fish farms. Fish stocks in some areas of the ocean are estimated to be 90% depleted a catastrophe.

Leave A Reply