Aquaculture for all

New and Improved MSC Ecolabel

Sustainability Politics

GLOBE - The Marine Stewardship Council has announced the first outcome of their partner support marketing programme the introduction of an evolved and improved MSC ecolabel.

With guidance from our international Board of Trustees, MSC has been working with the prestigious global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, who generously offered on a pro bono basis to help the MSC add value to our partners through marketing and communication. The 14-month process has involved research with consumers in the USA, UK, Germany and Japan, and extensive consultation with our partners and stakeholders around the world.

MSC Global marketing and communications director, Simon Edwards adds: We deeply appreciate the time and support we received in this effort from the fisheries, processors, producers, retailers, foodservice companies, NGOs and others that have replied to our surveys, met with Saatchi & Saatchi and provided feedback throughout the projects development.

We will communicate further with all of our partners as more of the work with Saatchi & Saatchi reaches fruition, but today are very pleased to reveal the evolved and improved MSC ecolabel.

Saatchi & Saatchi worked with the MSC to carry out consumer research and partner feedback which indicated that modification to make the existing logo work harder and add more meaning. Thus, the new design is not radically different. It adds critical text Certified Sustainable Seafood next to the blue oval and fish-checkmark, and it allows more flexibility in its application. While the change is slight, it provides significant benefit to partners. The new design clarifies the MSC ecolabel indicates independent, third-party verification that the product comes from a sustainable fishery. This has been shown to add value by benefiting our partners sustainability credentials.

Rollout minimizes costs

The rollout plan is designed to minimise costs. In addition, the new MSC ecolabel does not require more space on packaging and materials, and the two design options allow flexibility.

Here are some key points on this:

  • The MSC is committed to improving value to our partners but not at any cost, and we do not wish to see any of our partners inconvenienced by this change. To avoid unnecessary costs, we are not asking anyone to change any packaging or materials immediately and we are not asking partners to scrap existing packaging or materials. Instead, we are asking our partners to make the change only when it is convenient to do so. Anyone who has packaging or material ready to go to print, the new logo is available now but if you already have product or materials in the market, they do not have to change it until the next update or reprint.
  • We are aware that this gradual change-over will mean that there will be two MSC ecolabels in the marketplace for two or more years. However, because the new ecolabel is an evolution of the current version, the similarity to the existing ecolabel will prevent customer confusion and avoid loss of sales or recognition in the market. To help the transition go smoothly, we will use communication materials, including our website, to highlight the change to consumers and others.
  • While the new design sees additional text next to the existing blue oval, we are not asking partners to print the oval at the same size they do now. The minimum size requirement will ensure the new ecolabel (including the text) will not require more print area on packaging or material than the current oval-only ecolabel.
  • The new ecolabel will be available in two formats: a landscape and a portrait version. Either version can be used, making it easier for designers to integrate the ecolabel into different materials, packaging designs and other formats.

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