Spending on certified seafood products with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) logo in Dutch supermarkets has increased 150 per cent in the year between 2014 and 2015, according to market research by IRI.
In the same period, the total spends on ASC and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified seafood also increased by more than 30 per cent.
ASC and MSC labelled products together accounted 540 million euros of total seafood sales and more than 45 per cent all seafood sold in Dutch supermarket in 2015. The total expenditure on seafood with the ASC logo was 64 million euros in 2015.
Consumers in particular are increasingly opting for certified fresh fish from the refrigerated section of the market, with the spending in this category doubling year over year.
The figures steams from the monitoring of sales trends of certified products in 10 product groups. The study was conducted by research firm IRI, and commissioned by a consortium of industry associations and label holders. The research was undertaken to promote sustainable development in the Dutch market and provide acuurate sales data for certified products.
“The incredible increase in turnover of ASC certified products is due to several Dutch supermarkets switching to the sale of certified salmon. The first salmon farm became certified in January 2014. Since then growing volumes of certified salmon have become available, allowing for example Albert Heijn and Aldi to switch to ASC certified salmon in 2015,” said Esther Luiten, Commercial Manager of ASC. “It’s great to see an increasing amount of ASC labelled seafood for sale.”
Certified seafood entering the mainstream
With more than 45 per cent of the total expenditure on seafood in the Netherlands made up of certified products, the category is fast becoming the norm and can no longer be regarded as niche.
Dutch consumers are among the most progressive in the world when it comes to purchasing products-whether tea, fruits and vegetables or eggs– that prioritise environmental conservation and social responsibility. Thanks to the commitment to certified seafood by local supermarkets, seafood brands and suppliers, the Dutch market already plays a major role in rewarding responsible producers and moving the seafood industry towards sustainable practices.
Think Fish Week
This month, Dutch and Belgian supermarkets and brands will promote ASC and MSC certified seafood during the Think Fish Week. The joint initiative of ASC, MSC and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is held annually to inspire consumers to choose fish with the ASC and MSC label.
From 26 September to 2 October, supermarkets, suppliers, foodservice companies, and brands will encourage their customers to choose ASC and MSC certified fish. For more information, visit the campaign website www.bewustevisweek.nl (in Dutch).
Traceability in the supply chain helps prevent fraud
The growing demand for labels is connected to another consumer need: a reliable guarantee that a product can be traced throughout the supply chain. Every product with the ASC label can be traced to its source throughout the supply chain.
Consumers can be confident that their product comes from responsibly managed farms. The ASC requires a rigorous, independent traceability certification at each step in the supply chain, wherever certified seafood is processed.
There are currently close to 1000 Chain of Custody certified companies globally and more than 5,900 products with the ASC logo in 58 countries. In the Netherlands, there are nearly 800 ASC labelled products currently available for purchase.