The Billingsgate Fish Market operated by the City of London is the largest fresh fish market in the UK. Originally founded by Royal charter in 1387 the Billingsgate market relocated to its current site in 1982. It has been said that there isn’t any edible species of fish or shellfish that does not pass through Billingsgate from time to time if not on an almost daily basis.
The self-contained market complex covers 13 acres. The trading hall accommodates 98 trade stands and 30 shops, an 800 tonne freezer store and ice making plant. The market also hosts a Seafood training centre running courses on fish recognition, knife skills, presentation, cooking and nutrition. The annual turnover of the market is estimated at £200 million, approximately 25000 tonnes of fish, 40% imported from all over the world. As a microbiologically sensitive product food hygiene rules surrounding the handling, processing and storage of fish and shellfish are necessarily strict and inevitably complex.
Our visit will be hosted by Chris Leftwich the Market Superintendent one of the most knowlegdable men in the UK on fish identification, quality and legislation. Following the visit to Billingsgate delegates will get the opportunity to see fish on retail display at the modern Waitrose supermarket in Canary Wharf and to discuss the compliance challenges faced by UK retailers and how they are met. The visit will be supported by the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Seafish Industry Authority a technical support body to the 8000 plus businesses comprising the UK Seafood sector (funded by levies on landing, processing and retail of fish in the UK).
The market operates through the night in order for daily supplies of fresh fish to take place. In consequence this visit will have an early departure time 5.00am with return to the hotel by 11.30am.
Time: 06:00-11:30 (Departure approx. 05:15) Max number: 25