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...The Winner Is: Coles Crowned 'Best Supermarket' in the Wave of Change Awards

February 5, 2019

  • Coles, John West, IKEA and Taronga Zoo are celebrated in the national awards
  • The Wave of Change Awards recognise organisations for going above and beyond to protect the future of our oceans by promoting sustainable seafood
  • The winners of the Wave of Change Awards are selected based on three criteria: impact on market, leadership and communication

With awards season in full swing, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has announced the winners of the 2019 Wave of Change Awards – celebrating the pioneering brands across Australia who are championing sustainable seafood within their sectors. 

Australian supermarket Coles takes home the MSC Oceania Sustainable Seafood Supermarket of the Year Award for the third year running, commended for offering certified products across its fresh, chilled, frozen and tinned seafood. The retailer has the widest ecolabelled range of any Australian supermarket, with all Own Brand products labelled according to the methodology under which they have been certified and was the first to obtain MSC certification for its seafood deli counters.

James Whittaker, Coles Head of Responsible Sourcing and Quality said that the supermarket understands the importance of supporting its customers in making day-to-day choices, which deliver big change.

“It is Coles mission to ecolabel all of our Own Brand seafood to help our customers make the best choice and support our oceans. We are proud to be recognised for our ongoing focus on enabling people to live better lives within our planet’s limits.

“We will continue to challenge ourselves and look for new ways to support responsible fishing, as we believe it is our role to encourage our industry to set new standards to help create a better future for all Australians.”

Anne Gabriel, MSC Oceania Program Director said; “Coles continues to set new benchmarks within the grocery category, helping to preserve our seafood for future generations by making it as easy as possible to buy certified products.”

“We know that 75% of consumers believe sustainability claims should be clearly labelled, yet just one in five (21%) notice eco-labelled products when shopping1 which is what makes this commitment so important. For this reason, we felt that Coles were the deserving winner once again.”

Other winners include household favourite John West, which made a splash by expanding its sustainable range to include its salmon, mackerel and kippers as well as adding new tuna certified products. Taking home, the MSC Oceania Sustainable Seafood Brand of the Year Award, John West is a paving the way for other suppliers as it currently provides 36% of the Australian canned tuna market.

Tourist attraction Taronga Conservation Society, was commended for a second year running; winning the MSC Oceania Public Engagement Award for its iconic Seal Show at Taronga Zoo Sydney, which educates over one million visitors each year on the importance of choosing certified seafood for an ocean friendly future.

This year, the MSC added two new awards to the programme; IKEA won the new MSC Oceania Global Alignment to Local Innovation Award for its global sustainable commitment to offering healthier, more sustainable and affordable foods. Goolwa PiPi Co took home the new MSC Oceania Global Reach Award, being recognised for expanding the global reach for their live and fresh, pre-cooked, and frozen packs. 

In addition, Safcol and Campbell’s were both awarded the MSC Oceania New Products of the Year Award for their certified flavoured salmon range and MSC certified fish stock respectively, showing how brands are putting sustainability front and centre when it comes to innovation. 

Gabriel concludes: “Our mission is to raise awareness of certified seafood and educate consumers on what their choices mean for the future of our oceans. This would not be possible without the commitment and support from our award winners and we’re delighted to celebrate the progress we have made alongside them.”  

The Wave of Change Awards pave the way for Sustainable Seafood Week which takes place between 11-17 March 2019. The event is dedicated to celebrating certified fisheries, retailers, chefs and restaurants who support MSC’s mission to ensure sustainable seafood for future generations.

For further details on the Wave of Change Awards, and Sustainable Seafood Week, visit the MSC website to find out more.


MSC Oceania

2019 Wave of Change Award Winners

MSC Oceania Sustainable Seafood Supermarket of the Year: Coles

What set them apart: Offering the widest range of certified products across its chilled, frozen and tinned products. The retailer has the largest certified range of any Australian retailer, at over 800 stores. In 2018 Coles expanded its MSC-labelled species from 2 to 8 in their deli seafood counters.

NEW: MSC Oceania Global Alignment to Local Innovation Award: IKEA

What set them apart: IKEA is one of the largest food service providers of responsibly sourced fish in the world. The company is committed to offering healthier, more sustainable and affordable foods in its restaurants, bistros and Swedish Food Markets, which feed almost 7 million Australians and over 640 million customers globally each year.

MSC Oceania Sustainable Seafood Brand of the Year: John West 

What set them apart: Continued commitment to sourcing certified sustainable seafood which was expanded across their tuna, mackerel and salmon products. John West currently provides 36% of the Australian canned tuna market and has won two Banksia Sustainability Awards for the Our Oceans Forever awareness campaign on their partnership with MSC and WWF. In 2018 John West reached its target for over 60% of total shelf seafood range bears the MSC blue tick.

MSC Oceania New Products of the Year: Safcol Flavoured Salmon & Campbell’s Sustainable Fish Stock

What set them apart: Safcol Flavoured Salmon range is the first MSC certified flavoured salmon range in Australia and Campbell’s Sustainable Fish Stock is the first MSC certified fish stock available in Australian supermarkets. These two brands are leading the way in putting sustainability front and centre when it comes to innovation.

MSC Oceania Public Engagement Award: Taronga Zoo Seal Show

What set them apart: Engaging and educating one million visitors each year on the importance if choosing certified seafood for an ocean friendly future.

MSC Oceania Youth Engagement Award:SEA LIFE Trust Ocean Youth Program

What set them apart: Inspiring and empowering ocean lovers to take action for future generations and to launch ocean conservation and sustainability projects in their local communities and Expanding to four locations in 2019: Sydney, Melbourne, Mooloolaba, and Auckland.

NEW: MSC Oceania Global Reach Award: Goolwa PiPi Co

What set them apart: Significantly expanding global reach of seafood from Australian certified fisheries to as far afield as Spain with their Live & Fresh, Pre-Cooked and Frozen packs carrying the MSC ecolabel.

Notes to Editor

  • The MSC Consumer Insights Survey was conducted by GlobeScan in January 2018.
  • The awards champion leaders in the market through a scoring system that judges the impact they have on the market, communication and leadership attributes.

About the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation. Our vision is for the world’s oceans to be teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations. Our ecolabel and certification program recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices and is helping create a more sustainable seafood market.

The MSC blue fish tick on a seafood product means that:

  • It comes from a wild-catch fishery which has been independently certified to the MSC’s science-based standard for environmentally sustainable fishing, and
  • It’s fully traceable to a sustainable source.

More than 350 fisheries in over 35 countries are certified to the MSC’s Standard. These fisheries have a combined annual seafood production of around 10 million metric tonnes, representing 12% of global marine wild catch. Over 30,000 seafood products worldwide carry the blue MSC label.

MSC Oceania Wave of Change Awards 2019

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