The five pound Christmas lobster has been a Christmas favourite for the past few years but, until now, it’s been difficult to know if it is sustainable. This year, Lidl has joined forces with the Marine Stewardship Council to introduce the first whole lobster that is MSC certified as sustainable. And this year, it costs less than a fiver.
Cold, clean Canadian waters
The MSC certified lobsters come from the cold, clear waters of New Brunswick, Canada. The sea is a defining part of New Brunswick life. Nearly two thirds of the population life within 30 miles of the sea and local residents describe it as ‘the best lobster in the world.’
Lobster fishing is only a very short season, just two months, to protect the stock and make sure the lobsters are in the best possible condition. The fishermen use small boats and baited traps to catch the lobsters and any that are too small get returned to the sea. All of the fishermen live in small towns around the coast of New Brunswick where lobsters are at the heart of the local economy.
Getting to the UK
Like many crustaceans (including the prawns and shrimps used for sushi), lobster freezes incredibly well and the New Brunswick lobsters are cooked and frozen locally before being shipped to the UK, providing a low impact treat for Lidl customers.
Alexandra Scholes, Fish and Seafood Buyer for Lidl said, “We first introduced Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) products into our stores in 2006 and have continually expanded this range ever since. We are proud to be the first British supermarket to sell MSC assured whole lobster, and in addition to this 100% of our fresh ongoing (wild caught) fish is MSC certified and labelled and this range is available in stores all year round.”
Toby Middleton, programme director North East Atlantic for the MSC, said: “Lidl have worked closely with the MSC over the past year to build up their range of MSC certified fish and shellfish. That hard work is really paying off with 41 of their wild seafood products now MSC labelled, a 24% increase on 2014. It’s a real commitment to demonstrably sustainable sourcing that is providing a benefit to their customers. This lobster is a perfect example, a great value, sustainable product from the cold, pristine waters of Canada. A perfect Christmas treat.”