The majority of consumers across Europe believe that selling responsibly farmed seafood should be a top priority for supermarkets, according to survey findings published today.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) conducted research in France, Germany and The Netherlands to understand consumer perspectives on seafood and sustainability. In France 88 per cent of consumers agree that it is important that supermarkets provide responsibly sourced farmed seafood, with 80 per cent and 79 per cent of consumers doing so in Germany and The Netherlands respectively.

“Our strong relationships with retailers in these countries indicate that many supermarkets have already realised the importance of offering responsibly sourced seafood, and these figures demonstrate the wisdom of this approach,” said Contessa Kellogg-Winters, ASC Communications Director. “It’s clear that consumers value the option of minimizing their social and environmental impacts and we hope that retailers continue to respond to this demand.”

Consumers in all three countries also indicated the importance of a number of environmental and social issues when deciding which fish to buy. Over 80 per cent of consumers in every country said that preventing pollution in the area around the farm is an important factor when they’re choosing farmed fish. Good working conditions for staff was also important for those choosing farmed fish (82 per cent in Germany; 80 per cent in France; 78 per cent The Netherlands).

Products which are certified against ASC standards can display the ASC logo on packaging to indicate to consumers that the fish has been farmed in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way. The potential benefits of having this logo on packaging was underlined by European consumers – In France and The Netherlands packaging was the main way consumers get information about seafood products (46 per cent and 43 per cent respectively). In Germany packaging was the second most important way that consumers get their information (40 per cent) after television.

In a sign of the growing importance of responsibly sourced seafood, consumers are buying more seafood that is certified than 12 months ago. In Germany and France 12 per cent of shoppers are buying certified seafood more often, with 11 per cent doing so in The Netherlands.

More results

 

France

  • 56 per cent think a logo for farmed fish on packaging is important when they are choosing fish in a supermarket
  • 82 per cent believe that regular independent checks of farms are important
  • 79 per cent say that the traceability of the fish back to the producer is important – and 74 per cent want to see the trace back to source on the packaging
  • 61 per cent express a preference for fish with a label for sustainability
  • The ASC logo on packaging gives over half (52 per cent) of consumers more confidence in seafood

Germany

  • 57 per cent think a logo for farmed fish on packaging is important when they are choosing fish in a supermarket
  • 87 per cent believe that regular independent checks of farms are important
  • 76 per cent say that traceability of the fish back to the producer is important – and 75 per cent want to see the trace back to source on the packaging
  • 63 per cent believe that eating more farmed seafood is important to save the oceans
  • 58 per cent express a preference for products with a sustainability label
  • The proportion of shoppers who believe it is important that supermarkets sell responsibly farmed fish has increased 11 per cent since 2014 (69 – 80 per cent)

The Netherlands 

  • 64 per cent say that the traceability of the fish back to the producer is important
  • 78 per cent believe that regular independent checks of farms are important
  • 82 per cent of consumers who recognise the ASC logo have much or very much trust in it
  • The proportion of shoppers who believe it is important that supermarkets sell responsibly farmed fish has increased 10 per cent since 2014 (69 – 79 per cent)
  • Over a third (35 per cent) of shoppers say that the ASC logo makes their choice for fish easier

Survey information

France: Online survey carried out by GfK on behalf of ASC. 506 French shoppers aged 18+ who had bought fish in a supermarket responded, and are representative for the French shopper population on gender, age and education level. Survey carried out between February 22 and March 6.
Germany: Online survey carried out by GfK on behalf of ASC. 507 German shoppers aged 18+ who had bought fish in a supermarket responded, and are representative for the German shopper population on gender, age and education level. Survey carried out between February 22 and March 6
The Netherlands: Online survey carried out by GfK on behalf of ASC. 501 Dutch shoppers aged 18+ who had bought fish in a supermarket responded, and are representative for the Dutch shopper population on gender, age and education level. Survey carried out between February 22 and March 2.

Published on
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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