Young’s CEO Leendert den Hollander has written to health minister Anna Soubry calling for more government support of the campaign promoting the ‘twice a week’ consumption of seafood.

Last month, Den Hollander requested a meeting with Soubry to discuss how the fish industry’s equivalent to 5 a day can be better supported and its profile with consumers be raised.

Although the ‘twice a week’ advice has been pushed for several years, only 28% of UK consumers eat seafood this often [Seafish April 2011].

Consumer research on attitudes towards seafood carried out by Young’s and Mumsnet had shown there were no major barriers to increased fish consumption, creating every incentive for the industry to push the ‘twice a week’ message more, said den Hollander.

Young’s planned to step up its messaging around ‘twice a week’ through social media, trade communications and on-pack messaging in collaboration with retailers, he added. It would also push the agenda through cross-industry meetings and with industry body Seafish.

The renewed focus on ‘twice a week’ comes as Young’s is broadening its Fish For Life programme - which to date has purely been a responsible seafood procurement standard - into an internal and external CSR programme, which will encompass ‘healthy diet’ as one of the five elements of the policy.

Young’s has committed to “providing consumers with clearer information on the ‘twice a week’ guidance”. The other four elements are sourcing, environmental footprint, community and transparency.

As part of its sourcing strategy, Young’s intends to become the first company to supply Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified basa to the UK early next year.