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New data reveals growing consumer trust in blue MSC label

Data released today shows that consumer awareness and trust in the blue MSC label is growing. The survey by independent insights consultancy, GlobeScan, which involved more than 25,000 people across 23 countries found that consumer trust in the MSC blue label has increased to 78%, up two percent from 2020. 

These initial results from one of world’s largest surveys of seafood consumers, were released at the Marine Stewardships Council’s (MSC) flagship event, Seafood Futures Forum, which took place today at Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona. The findings also show that awareness in the MSC label has increased from 46% two years ago to 48% this year. Consumers are also increasingly likely to recommend the MSC, up from 56% of respondents two years ago to 57% of respondents in 2022. 

In other findings, consumers are increasingly likely to perceive that independent certification organisations, such as the MSC, are protecting the oceans with over one in four (28%) respondents thinking that certification has an important contribution to make.  There has also been a significant increase in the number of consumers who believe that the fishing industry is doing more to protect the oceans, 26% up from 20%.  

Other new figures released at the Seafood Futures Forum showed ongoing support for the MSC from fishing and supply chain organisations: 

19% of wild marine catch is now engaged in the MSC programme 

539 fisheries are MSC certified 

There are more than 60 nations where consumers can buy more than 20,000 MSC labelled products 

Volumes of seafood products sold with the blue MSC label are forecast to reach a record 1.28 million tonnes in 2021/22. 

The figures were shared as part of the discussion on how business can act as a lever for change in helping to safeguard our oceans. Panellists included influential businessman and formed CEO of Sainsbury’s, Justin King; Minna Epps, head of International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Ocean Team; José Luis Jauregui, director of sustainability at the Echebastar Pesqueras fishery in Spain; and Michaela Reischl, head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Lidl, Spain.  

The event was attended in person and online by more than 400 people from across the seafood community including producers, buyers, retailers, brands, NGOs, and academics.  

Rupert Howes, CEO of the Marine Stewardship Council, said: “We’re hugely encouraged by the continued increase in trust and awareness of the MSC amongst consumers globally, this is recognition of the hard work of our partners – fisheries, processors, retailers, NGOs and many others who have helped to build this programme across 25 years.  

“The MSC’s market-based model puts businesses at the heart of delivering progress to safeguard the oceans, by investing in sustainable fishing and buying sustainable seafood, we believe business can really help create a chain-reaction to ensure healthy oceans for the future.”