Fresh Cornish Fish, Doing What It Says on the Tin

The local company from Cornwall offers sustainably caught fish, which lands that same day, to people all around the country.

15.11.2019 | by Christy Romer
Photo by Simon Godfrey on Unsplash
Photo by Simon Godfrey on Unsplash

The old ways are the best ways — for our bodies, our planet, and our wallets.

This is a concept that Fresh Cornish Fish, a long-standing fish shop business in Cornwall, UK, is pioneering. They’ve been selecting and selling sustainably caught fish for generations, with owner Craig Tonkin tracing his heritage back 300 years through one village.

Their approach is refreshingly simple in a world characterised by exploitative over-fishing and over-freezing. Tonkin buys fish directly from Newlyn market every morning and delivers the stock overnight to customers across the UK. There’s no unnecessary packaging, as it’s delivered in a sealed box with ice packs, ready to be thrown in the fridge.

The company only buys from hand-line fishers, in which undersized or immature fish are returned to the water; and from small day boats — which return to land every day, rather than staying out at sea for weeks at a time with an increasing collection of frozen produce.

Customers are offered the choice of buying loose fish or one of a selection of ‘fish boxes’, which contain a curated selection of approximately 4kg of fish. If they live locally, they receive their produce the same day; if they live far away, it comes the next morning.



Hyper-local model

What’s remarkable about Fresh Cornish Fish is how intuitive, yet elusive this hyper-local to national business model is — offering authenticity and responsibility through a recognisably familiar face.

Consumers are looking for trust in food sourcing and a direct relationship with the person who finds their food. Through Fresh Cornish Fish, consumers can fulfil a need for transparency satisfied by other verified marks of quality, such as fair trade, climate neutral, and, in this case, Product of Cornwall.

“If you’re wondering why our fish is significantly cheaper than other websites you may have looked at, the answer is simple,” Tonkin writes on his company’s website.

“I personally go to the market and select your fish straight from the fisherman and then send it to you. There’s no middlemen. I don’t fill my fridge and then attempt to sell it.”

It’s a local solution, scaled up to deliver nationwide. It’s serving a need not addressed by the on-demand nature of supermarket living. And it’s cheaper than other options.

Fresh Cornish Fish a revolution waiting to unfold.

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