Canada’s national specialty retailer of luxury brands has joined the sustainable seafood movement as a national Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise program partner in all five of its in-store cafés across the country. The menus at Holt Renfrew’s Holts Cafés are delicious, luxurious, innovative and the luxury retailer can now add “100 per cent sustainable” to that list. Whether it’s a business lunch or a shopping break brunch, seafood lovers now have an enticing array of sustainable choices at the cafés, with locations in Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal and two in Toronto.
Holt Renfrew is the first national retail organization in Canada to offer 100 per cent Ocean Wise menus at its cafés, including a wide selection of sustainable seafood showcasing Canada’s bounty. From trap-caught snow crab from the St. Lawrence to Salt Spring Island mussels farmed in B.C., Holt Renfrew has made the commitment to only offer species that come from healthy, well-managed, and low-impact fisheries or farms. As a progressive, socially responsible organization on a number of levels, this new partnership with Ocean Wise demonstrates their commitment to taking bold steps to protect our lakes, rivers and oceans for future generations.
While Holt Renfrew is new to the Ocean Wise program, sustainability has long been a key focus for the organization. In 2013, they launched the H Project, which sources socially responsible products and collaborates with charitable designers. This sustainable approach has expanded to other areas of the company, including their culinary services, and led them to become an official Ocean Wise partner this year. “Supporting our oceans is critical to the environmental future of our earth,” says Alexandra Weston, Holt Renfrew’s director of brand and creative strategy.
Achieving the 100 per cent designation is a result of months of hard work and multiple menu revisions, but Alexandra and her team are confident this national partnership with Ocean Wise offers a great opportunity to engage with café customers about the importance of choosing sustainable seafood. “Being able to say Holt Renfrew cafés offer 100% Ocean Wise recommended sustainable seafood menus will hopefully encourage further awareness and informed choices from our valued customers.” Weston continues, “This is a serious issue, but one that we can work together to turn around.”
Whether it’s an Ocean Wise fish market or café within a luxury retailer, you vote with your wallet every time you buy seafood. Your purchasing power can make a real difference by supporting fisheries and farms that are better for the planet, while at the same time relieving pressure on others that are in worse shape. During your next visit to Holt Renfrew, be sure to stop by the café for an Ocean Wise meal that not only tastes great, but also helps keep our oceans happy and healthy for future generations.
Blog post by Deirdre Finn, Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise account representative
Overfishing is the single biggest threat facing our oceans today. With nearly 700 partners across Canada, Ocean Wise makes it easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come. The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. www.oceanwise.ca