Monday, April 22, 2024

Well-meaning shoppers confused about sustainable labelling

Australians are confused about sustainable labelling and ecofriendly shopping, claims the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

The MSC carried out the research for Sustainable Seafood Week. It found that 63 per cent of respondents were keen to do the right thing. But they also find the number of diets, fads and ‘green’ claims on offer confusing.

Despite this, the research reveals that 80 per cent of Australians surveyed consider themselves “conscious consumers” who genuinely care about the sourcing of their food. And 81 per cent of respondents have “actively” changed their lifestyle, daily habits and diets to help protect the environment. Almost one in four (23 per cent) have tried flexitarian and pescatarian meal plans.

A further 87 per cent of respondents say they’d choose sustainable seafood over non-sustainable products for their “positive impact”.


MSC says maintaining our oceans, rivers and lakes is critical if we’re to provide food for a global population that could reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

With this in mind, MSC and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) have called for seafood lovers to join a nationwide movement to #SeaTheFuture during Sustainable Seafood Week 2019.

The two international non-profit organisations have joined forces with a number of leading advocates and brands. They include Coles, Woolworths, John West, SEA LIFE, Aldi and Taronga Zoo. The collaborators hope to “bridge the gap of consumer confusion so that our children and grandchildren can continue to enjoy seafood for generations to come”.

Supermarket support is crucial

According to MSC, 90 per cent of Australians shop for seafood in supermarkets compared with 35 per cent at fishmongers. This is why, MSC says, it’s important to secure the backing of national supermarkets.

“We believe our role goes beyond that of a traditional retailer,” Coles Head of Responsible Sourcing and Quality James Whittaker said. “This is why sustainability is top of our agenda.

“The majority of our own-brand seafood across our fresh, tinned and frozen ranges is now fully certified and stamped with the blue MSC or green ASC label. This is so our customers can have peace of mind that they’re making the best choice for our future.”

The MSC and ASC labels are intended to assure consumers their seafood has been sourced with the best possible care. There are 400-plus certified MSC products and 100-plus ASC products available nationwide.

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