Labels a stumbling block for sustainability work

14th December 2011 - Fine Cut

Labelling is continuing to cause problems in the bid to encourage consumers to buy sustainable seafood, reports The Guardian.

A survey carried out by the Marine Conservation Society on sustainability in supermarkets revealed Marks & Spencer and the Co-Operative have the best systems, but a representative from MCS stressed that labels were a problem for all retailers.

David Parker, fisheries officer at the charity, stressed that the latest research brings up positives and negatives. Many supermarkets are trying to improve the situation to make sure custom labels on seafood products do more to inform customers.

"Some supermarkets are really working on their seafood policies with a positive attitude towards improvement - although most policies disappointingly only refer to their own brands," remarked Mr Parker.

Corp Comms noted that the MCS survey tested four areas - policy, seafood sales, labelling and consumer information; as well as sustainability initiatives.

Sainsbury's and Waitrose shared the silver award, while no supermarket achieved the bronze accolade. The other supermarkets to take part were Tesco, Iceland, Morrisons and Booths.

While these retailers scored relatively well, they tended to stock too many seafood products from MCS' 'Fish to Avoid' list, which is why none of them received a grade high enough for the bronze award.

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