Anyone entering the seafood market will soon become aware that informed consumers (or perhaps that should read, "semi-informed consumers") are increasingly reading labels to find out that seafood products are "sustainable caught", "dolphin-friendly", "Kind to the Oceans" or whatever.
The sentiments behind such labels - and the criteria or standards behind them - are, of course, to be welcomed and applauded. We all want to be part of a responsible, sustainable industry. The problems for the new business are to identify which of the many labels/standards:
- are the most appropriate for his/her business
- are 'properly' researched and administered
- are affordable (complying withe standards is one thing; getting accreditation for compliance is another whole set of hoops to jump through).
So, by all means as consumers, continue to read the labels and check what 'certification' your selected product has earned - but spare a thought for those who have to navigate the growing minefield of standards and labels; and for those who choose to offer you cheaper prices rather than pay for certification.
And can the standards-setters please get together and see how they can combine or simplify their certification processes without losing the important principles.
(This blog offers personal views and does not necessarily reflect the official view of IAFI.)