Press release

Win for MSC certified tuna in Dutch Advertising case

November 30, 2017

Amsterdam – The College van Beroep (Appeals Chamber) of the Dutch Advertising Code has reached a final verdict on MSC-related claims on cans of Princes tuna. The appeal verdict reverses the original decision by the Dutch Advertising Code Commission in the claim brought by World Wise Foods and confirms that the claims on all MSC labelled tins of Princes tuna are in full compliance with the Dutch Advertising Code.

The College van Beroep is the highest authority on the Dutch Advertising Code and this is the final verdict with no further appeals.

In its decision the College noted that a Dutch consumer standing in front of a shelf of tuna will navigate mostly on the basis of the MSC ecolabel.

MSC CEO, Rupert Howes said: “We are delighted with the verdict. While we never doubted the sustainability claims being examined, the College van Beroep verdict is an important and independent validation of the MSC program and the way companies like Princes describe their products. By placing their trust in MSC labelled seafood, shoppers and brands are helping to reward sustainable fishing practices, catalysing change around the world. The College van Beroep verdict is further evidence that trust is well-placed.”

In the notes accompanying the final verdict, the College noted that, as the complainants World Wise Foods had stated, the Dutch Advertising Code holds advertisers to a very high standard on making sustainability claims. The College noted that MSC labelling gives consumers the confidence that the seafood they purchase is from a sustainable source. This, combined with ocean-to-plate traceability and the MSC’s reputation as a renowned institute, means they judge that the contents of the package meet that high bar to be described as ‘sustainable’. This is tribute to the credibility and assurance provided to consumers by the MSC program, as illustrated by the MSC label’s ranking as “top ecolabel” by Dutch environmental consumer agency Milieucentraal.

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