More choice for seafood consumers as MSC-labelled products reach 10,000 mark

June 3, 2011 16:30

Stuehrk's Cocktail Shrimps with Dill Cream has become the 10,000th MSC ecolabelled product to hit the global seafood market. The blue MSC ecolabel is assurance that the product is sourced from a sustainable and well-managed fishery and helps consumers make sustainable choices when buying seafood. The label can be found on products worldwide and has an especially strong presence in the German market, where close to 3,000 products bear the MSC label, reports with reference to MSC. 

Stuehrk Delikatessen based in Marne, northern Germany has included MSC certified seafood in its product range since 2007, when the company secured certification to the MSC Chain of Custody standard for seafood traceability.

"Our company believes in sustainable growth and so securing MSC Chain of Custody certification was a logical extension to our philosophy. We support sustainable fisheries and are proud that it is one of our products to hit this hugely significant mark of being the 10, 000th in the marketplace," says Stuehrk director Lars Jochims.

The deep-sea shrimps (Pandalus borealis) used in Stuehrk's Cocktail Shrimps are fished by the Gulf of St. Lawrence northern shrimp trawl fishery which was certified to the MSC standard in 2008. Prawn trawlers use otter trawls with a minimum mesh size of 40 mm. Small shrimps can escape through the net and so continue to grow to breeding age. A specific separating system, the Nordmore separator grate, makes sure that species that are not the target of the fishery's operations can be avoided. The management plan also specifies that northern and spotted wolffish are put back into the sea.
Strong growth rate in number of labelled products

The number of MSC labelled products available worldwide has doubled since April 2010. Simon Edwards, MSC Global Communications Director, commented: "The rate at which the number of MSC-labelled products in the global market is increasing - doubling every twelve months over the last four years - confirms that suppliers are putting sustainability at the centre of their business, and responding to their customers' growing awareness and preferences about seafood sourcing."

Awareness growing

Recent research in German consumer attitudes that measured awareness of the MSC ecolabel demonstrates the extent to which individual purchasing decisions are driven by sustainability considerations.

A survey of shoppers carried out by AMR Research [4], found that over half (52 per cent) of respondents recognised the MSC ecolabel. To ensure a fair test, all the identifying text on the ecolabel was removed. Further, 22 per cent of respondents went on to correctly identify the ecolabel (without the text) as signifying a product sourced from a sustainable fishery.

These figures show a marked increase in the results of 2010 of 36 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. 27 per cent of respondents - up from 19 per cent in June 2010 - say that they only buy fish and seafood from sustainable sources, regardless of price and quality, and are even prepared to go elsewhere if the product they are looking for is not available. In 2010, MSC surveyed the average consumer awareness of the MSC ecolabel: Across the six key markets surveyed, 23 per cent of the adult population is now aware of the MSC ecolabel - up from 9 per cent in 2008.

About Stuehrk Delikatessen

Stuehrk Delikatessen Import GmbH & Co. KG  is a German Company that employs around 150 people and sells its products on the global market, production sites are in Marne and Büsum (northern Germany).

About the survey

The AMR Marketing survey was carried out to gauge attitudes and behaviour towards ecolabels, sustainable seafood and MSC in Germany.  A total of 423 interviews were completed. Respondents identified themselves as regular buyers of seafood. The sample has been structured to be nationally projectable to each region's adult population and is statistically valid at 95% confidence level (+/- 4%).

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