Celebrate Good Food Month

October is a busy and important month for food - it is simultaneously National Seafood Month, Fairtrade Month, and Non-GMO Month. This year, we’ve joined forces to create Good Food Month – a month that honors all three in one! #LittleLabelsBigImpact

Good Food Moth Logos: Fairtrade, MSC, Non-GMO

More and more shoppers want to know how the food they buy affects people and our planet, including how it was grown, harvested, and produced. That’s where third-party certification comes in. When you see little labels by independent third-party certifiers on your food, you know that product underwent a rigorous evaluation to ensure it met a set of strict standards.  

We’ve partnered with Fairtrade America and the Non-GMO Project to celebrate Good Food Month and encourage shoppers to make the switch to third-party certified products. By looking for the Non-GMO Project Verified, Fairtrade Certified, and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) labels, you can shop sustainably throughout your local stores in October and beyond.  

Why Are These Labels Important?

Good Food Month is a way to recognize companies and ecolabels that have been independently verified and work hard to bring sustainable options to dinner tables across the country.

  • Labels like Fairtrade Certified, MSC Certified, and Non-GMO Project Verified represent rigorous standards with requirements that need to be followed in order to use the label. This may require laboratory testing and supply chain accountability that allows for “identity preservation.” That typically requires the strict separation of ingredients or products that are compliant with the standards from ingredients that are not. 
  • Fairtrade America, the MSC, and Non-GMO Project are all nonprofit organizations driven by their collective mission to change how food is harvested or made in order to better serve people and the planet. Fairtrade has been operating internationally since 1989, MSC’s sustainable fishing standard has been in effect since 1998, and Non-GMO Project has been verifying products since 2010. 
  • The nonprofits publish their Standards on their websites to give shoppers transparency, first and foremost. It also helps to check which brands are using these labels: Brands both large and small voluntarily showcase this compliance by including the Fairtrade, MSC, or Non-GMO Project labels on their packaging.  
MSC Certified

MSC Certified

The MSC blue fish label is an ecolabel found on seafood products including fresh, canned, and frozen seafood, omega-3 supplements, pet food, and even some restaurant menus. The blue fish helps consumers identify seafood that is certified sustainable, wild-caught, and traceable to a sustainable source. The MSC blue fish label can only be applied to wild-caught seafood from a fishery that has been independently assessed on its impacts on wild fish populations and the ecosystems they're part of.

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Non-GMO Project Verified

Non-GMO Project Verified

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living beings whose genetic material has been manipulated through genetic engineering, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, or virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Verification means that a product is compliant with the Non-GMO Project Standard, the most rigorous third-party standard for GMO avoidance, which includes stringent provisions for ingredient testing and traceability.

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Fairtrade Certified

Fairtrade Certified

When you see the Fairtrade Mark on a product, you know that farmers were paid at least the cost of production as well as an added Fairtrade Premium to invest in their businesses and communities. You know that child labor was banned and that measures were in place to protect the local environment and address the effects of climate change. You also know that workers’ rights were upheld and they have the choice to collectively bargain.

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Take Action Next Time You Shop

Shop these labels when you next head to the store in Good Food Month and beyond. By looking for products that are Fairtrade Certified, MSC Certified, and Non-GMO Project Verified, you are supporting brands that are working towards a more sustainable future, and maybe you might find a new favorite! Look for these labels on a variety of fresh and packaged products across the store like seafood, bananas, coffee, chocolate, and more.  

Learn More About The Organizations

Learn how your choices at the grocery store can make a big difference for the health of our ocean at MSC.org. Get to know the people behind the label that make sustainable seafood possible at @MSCbluefish 

Follow the Butterfly with the Non-GMO Project. Sign up for their newsletters and like them on social media—@NonGMOProject

Get the scoop on Fairtrade. Sign up to receive Fairtrade America’s newsletter and follow them on social media—@FairtradeMarkUS 

Man holding a reusable shopping bag with the MSC, Fairtrade, and Non-GMO labels

Are You an MSC Partner and Want to Promote Certified Products?

We encourage all partners with a marketing agreement to participate in Good Food Month! To download the assets and see how you can get involved, take a look at this Good Food Month Toolkit.
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