Press release

Australian consumers prefer sustainable seafood

October 13, 2016

75% of Australian seafood consumers believe in order to save the ocean, we have to consume fish and seafood only from sustainable sources, making it a top priority, reveals the Marine Stewardship Council’s annual report and independent research launched today.

This represents a significant shift in consumption habits as Australian seafood shoppers say they value sustainability over price, with 51% willing to pay more for sustainably certified seafood.

The new consumer data is the largest ever global analysis of attitudes to seafood consumption and was carried out by independent research company GlobeScan, on behalf of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

“This research released in conjunction with MSC’s latest annual report shows Australian consumers are voting with their wallets to future-proof our oceans by opting for sustainably certified seafood.

“This is not just a passing trend, it’s an evolution strongly driven by consumer demand that demonstrates greater engagement on traceability and consideration towards our food sources”, said Anne Gabriel, Oceania Program Director, MSC.

“With four out of five households (85%) of Australians purchasing seafood on a regular basis, there’s an opportunity for consumers to make a tangible difference by choosing to source sustainable seafood. 69% of Australian seafood consumers state they want to know that the fish they buy can be traced back to known and trusted source, so it’s clear to the supply chain and the retailers that consumers want to know more about what they’re buying”, she continued.

The consumer insights data also found:

  • A majority (54%) of seafood consumers are likely to trust the source of the products if they are ecolabelled.
  • 71% of Australians believe brands' claims about sustainability need to be labelled by an independent org.
  • Globally, 66% of respondents are willing to pay more for sustainable goods, which is up from 55% in 2014 and 50% in 2013 (Nielsen's The Sustainability Imperative, October 2015).
  • 36% of Australians say they are purchasing more ecolabelled seafood than a year ago.

These figures support findings of the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, which showed that over the previous year, sales of consumer goods from brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability grew by more than 4% globally, while those without grew less than 1%.

“Currently there are 20 fisheries engaged with MSC in Australia, demonstrating tremendous leadership towards sustainable certification of seafood. Concurrently, household brands and retailers are leading initiatives in supporting the growing hunger for certified sustainable seafood. We welcome a time when ocean sustainability is the norm and this is the only accepted and demanded option,” concluded Gabriel.

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