Sustainable Seafood Labeling Programs As a Tool for Sustaining the Oceans: Probing the Level of Consumer Awareness

Monday, 16 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Anthony WINSON, University of Guelph, Canada
Jennifer SILVER, University of Guelph, Canada
Chantelle RAMSUNDAR, University of Guelph, Canada
Larissa GOSHULAK, University of Guelph, Canada
Jin Young CHOI, Sam Houston State University, USA
This paper reports on the results of an online survey conducted as part of a larger research project focused on sustainable seafood certification and labeling programs and the Canadian retail food industry. Eco-labels have emerged as a key tool to arrest the depletion of marine species we take for food but some have questioned their effectiveness in actually promoting the sustainable harvesting of marine resources. The issue of consumer awareness of labeling programs has been identified by scholars and food retailers themselves as an important factor impinging on the success of these programs. A sample of respondents were randomly selected to reflect income and ethnic diversity in both a major metropolitan area and a smaller city located in central Canada. Demographic information on age, education and ethnicity were collected. Respondents were queried about their knowledge of environmental threats to marine life more generally as well as awareness of sustainable certification labels for seafood and their receptivity to purchasing sustainably certified seafood products and actual purchasing behavior. They were also asked to reflect on what they saw as the main barriers to purchasing sustainably certified seafood in both retail and restaurant food environments.