By Pasquale Comità, Communication & Social Media Intern
During my studies in Business Communication, I developed a passion for logos and their capacity to convey messages, concepts and even emotions through simple visual artwork.
Logos bridging the informative gap
Knowledge and information about the specific characteristics of products are asymmetrically allocated between consumers and producers. Nowadays, consumers want more information and are becoming more demanding about the quality, provenance and production of products. To satisfy this thirst for knowledge, logos are useful tools in transmitting the complex set of information consumers are looking for.
Overall, logos provide two specific functions for consumers: the ‘information function’ and the ‘value function’. The former is achieved by conveying information about the intangible characteristics of a product, e.g. quality; while the latter provides an intrinsic value derived from the product itself, e.g. credibility.
Specifically, when it comes to sustainability, logos have the additional function of informing consumers about the environmentally and socially responsible models of production, and enhance and support the more sustainable approaches used by producers and governments.
ASC logo reflecting independence and trust
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council manages an independent, third-party certification programme, which recognises and rewards responsible aquaculture. Third party certifiers audit farms against the ASC standards, and farms must prove that they are using responsible methods that reflect best practice while minimising environmental and social impacts.
It is indeed acknowledged that the existence of an independent third party assessing the validity and reliability of the information conveyed through a logo is of utmost importance: for the logo to gain credibility and for it to be considered reliable and trustworthy; hence, able to accomplish its informational task. The ASC’s logo therefore gives consumers confidence that they are choosing seafood products that are fully traceable to a well-managed farm and have been independently certified as farmed responsibly.
The trustworthiness of a logo is also greatly amplified when it is given an official endorsement by a relevant international or national organisation because it conveys unbiased and objective information to consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. On this respect, the ASC was founded, and is supported, by both the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and the IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative), while the ASC Standards for responsible aquaculture were directly developed by the WWF Aquaculture Dialogues. The reputation of such reliable organisations’ commitment towards achieving environmentally sustainable and social responsible aquaculture is conferred to the ASC logo.
The reputation of the ASC logo and everything that it stands for is then conferred to the products that carry the logo.
ASC logo and traceability
Traceability provides assurances to consumers and is perceived by consumers as adding value to a product. ASC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, confirms through every step in the supply chain that the seafood originates from an ASC certified farm. No business in the supply chain can make a claim that seafood is ASC certified or label it with the ASC logo unless they have undertaken a detailed traceability audit to meet the ASC Chain of Custody requirements.
How the ASC logo adds value to brands
Using the ASC’s logo brings a range of benefits to any company in the supply chain. It reinforces their good practices, demonstrates their commitment to responsible production and allows them to make credible claims about the origin of their ASC certified seafood to their customers.
In turns, through the ASC logo on product, consumers are reassured that only seafood from a certified farm will arrive on their table and it allows them to help protect the marine environment and the livelihoods of local communities.