Highlighting a move towards an entirely sustainable selection of seafood, Woolworths has partnered with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to roll-out South Africa’s first in-store joint marketing campaign.
Woolworths’ commitment to responsible procurement led them to recognise the growing importance of traceability through their seafood supply chains. For the duration of the campaign, shoppers can look out for signage carrying the slogan ‘hooked on sustainable fishing’ in all their SA stores. The signs indicate where customers can expect to find products carrying the MSC’s distinct ‘fish with a tick’ ecolabel, which provides assurance that individual items can be traced back through each step in the supply chain to a fishery that has been certified against the world’s most rigorous sustainability standard.
Joining forces to raise the MSC profile
The Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) global certification and ecolabelling programme makes it easy for consumers to choose sustainable seafood. The market incentives created through consumer choice are at the core of how the MSC promotes positive change in the world’s fisheries.
Woolworths, as part of their “Good Business Journey,” are committed to providing the best in responsible choices to their customers. As testament to their environmental credentials, Woolworths brand seafood products currently include the country’s widest range of MSC-labelled items, with frozen, canned and chilled options all available.
The campaign is visible in more than 300 Woolworths stores in South Africa and aims to inform consumers about the importance of responsibly caught seafood and the impact that their choices can have. Using in-store visual messaging, print and TV adverts and social media, the campaign shows consumers that by choosing MSC-labelled seafood they can make a positive difference to the oceans’ resources.
Reaching out to consumers
Africa’s first joint marketing campaign follows in the footsteps of similar promotions in Europe, North America and Asia. MSC has partnered with major seafood brands and retailers in a bid to increase awareness of the MSC ecolabel and add value to partners by highlighting their active commitment to sustainability. By focusing on consumer communications, MSC-labelled products become more meaningful and important to shoppers, whose purchases support the efforts of commercial partners in trying to move towards a fully sustainable seafood supply.
Speaking about the partnership, Woolworths MD of Foods Zyda Rylands said, “Both groups are passionate about the same things: ensuring the sustainability of seafood stocks, minimizing the environmental impact of all fishing activities and ensuring that fisheries operate within the laws and regulations governing the industry and in ways that maintain the sustainability of the species they catch.”
“The growth of MSC labeled products in South Africa is very encouraging. It shows that consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of their seafood purchases and want to make the right choices. We are delighted to work with Woolworths and support them in their quest to offer their customers the widest range of sustainable seafood choices. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership” says Martin Purves, MSC Southern Africa Programme Manager.
The world’s leading ecolabel for wild-caught seafood
WWF’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) promotes MSC certification as the world’s leading ecolabel for wild-caught seafood and it’s great to see Woolworths actively expanding their MSC-labeled range. SASSI works across the seafood supply chain to put into place and support partners in developing and achieving procurement commitments.
These commitments require them to source only from fisheries that have demonstrated their sustainability through independent assessment against credible certification schemes, or that have entered into time-bound improvement projects.
“We strongly encourage the retailers and seafood suppliers that we work with to consider MSC options where these are available. Fisheries that have been assessed against the MSC Standard are automatically included on SASSI’s green list,” says Dr Samantha Petersen, Senior Manager of WWF-SA’s Marine Programme.