Two Dutch studies confirm credibility and reach for ASC
May 24, 2022
Once again, ASC has come out as a “top quality” label for seafood in the most recent study done by Milieu Centraal. The independent organisation benchmarks sustainability labels on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality – with the aim to provide information to help consumers make sustainable choices.
Using a scoring system between 0 and 5, each sustainability label is assessed against its sustainability credentials in five categories: transparency, control, environmental impacts, social impacts and animal welfare.
To achieve a ‘top quality’ ranking, an ecolabel must rank at least 4 out of 5 in both transparency and control. Acknowledging the unprecedented inclusiveness, transparency and independence of its audit process, Milieu Centraal awarded ASC the top score of 5 in both categories.
Milieu Centraal is re-evaluating labels and publishing these rankings on a regular basis, with the last being published in 2019. For ASC, it is now the third time in a row to be included as “top quality” label.
Milieu Centraal is now embarking on a social media campaign encouraging consumers to check out the top-rated labels, using the hashtags #topkeurmerken and #keurmerkenwijzer. Importantly, consumers are informed that by buying these products, they are contributing towards a more sustainable food chain.
A separate report by the research agency IRI shows that sales of labelled seafood in Dutch supermarkets have continued to climb during the past two years, both in absolute figures and in its share compared to total sales. ASC showed the strongest growth of all ecolabels involved in the study, increasing its share of sales by 5.4% in 2021. In absolute figures, sales of ASC-labelled seafood products jumped from a value of EUR 265 million in 2019 to remarkable EUR 365 in 2021.
IRI measures sales of various product categories in retail year and notes the share of products with a sustainability label on the shelves. All Dutch retailers are included except Lidl and Aldi.
“In 2021, 79.4% of all seafood sold in Dutch retail carries the ASC and/or MSC labels, which speaks to the fantastic commitments of Dutch retail to responsibly sourced seafood. ASC will continue to work with suppliers and retailers to ensure that more certified seafood becomes available in retail outlets. We will also help consumers to understand how their responsible choices reward responsible producers and minimise the social and environmental impacts of the seafood in their baskets”, said Maud van den Haspel, General Manager at ASC for the Netherlands and the UK.