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Seafood Eco-Labelling For The Modern Consumer

by the Fish Site Editor
01 March 2011, at 12:00am

GENERAL - As society becomes ever more aware of environmental issues as highlighted in a previous article, modern consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the affect their purchasing decisions have on the well-being of the environment.

This conscientiousness leads to repercussions in the buying process as the consumer has to choose between a large variety of products with labels certifying their sustainability and respect for the environment.

But what exactly is eco-labelling? According to the ‘Organización Internacional para la Normalización’, this type of label indicates the environmentally-friendly status of the product or service within a product category based on multiple criteria throughout their life-cycle. The certification awarded ensures, therefore, that the product has complied with specific environmental standards throughout its life-cycle.

In terms of the number of eco-labels present in the seafood market, there is undoubtedly a vast range. Each organisation establishes its own unique certification programme that the various fisheries can adopt voluntarily in accordance with the producers and products with which they work. Some examples of such organisations are: Naturland, Friend of the Sea, Marine Stewardship Council and Global Aquaculture Alliance. However, despite the large variety of eco-labels to be seen on seafood packaging, there is no official European eco-label system like there is for organic products.

The buying process is becoming ever more complicated for the consumer as buyers must evaluate the value of and differentiate between the wide array of labels on product packaging appropriately. From the point of view of the marketer though it is necessary to note the increasing value attributed to eco-labelling as consumers become more aware of the environmental-friendliness of the products they buy.

the Fish Site Editor