"Better understand, better advise, better consume."
The urgency to "consume better" is increasingly felt by consumers and professionals alike. In the seafood sector, this is reflected in the emergence of new measures and new labels. It is sometimes difficult to see clearly in this ocean of initiatives.
According to Ifremer's 2020 figures, 49% of the volume of fish caught in France comes from sustainably exploited populations (compared to 15% in 2000). Although the industry is actively mobilising, problems of fishing gear selectivity and environmental impact persist.
Rémi Aubril, who is passionate about adding value to seafood products at ProcSea, sheds light on the solutions and good reflexes to preserve the reserves of our oceans.
Ecolabels for Seafood Products
To get off to a good start, what you need to know about the main labels in a few lines:
"In the seafood sector, there are two main categories of labels: eco-labels, which reflect a limitation of the environmental impact of production methods, and labels or signs of origin and quality," explains Rémi Aubril.
Some ecolabels :
- Friend of the Sea,
- Label “Pêche durable”.
And the Organic Label of the European Union.
Sometimes decried, it is nevertheless necessary to understand the functioning and meaning of these certifications and other labels. This is a prerequisite to promote more sustainable fishing.
Some ecolabels to know
MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) for wild products and ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) for farmed products, are the 2 labels most often offered to consumers, particularly in frozen or canned products.
Le label MSC
Created in 1997 by WWF and Unilever, the "MSC Fisheries Standard" is a private label that certifies sustainable management of labelled fisheries. It is managed by a non-profit NGO. One of the main labels, which focuses on "good stock management".
Today, about 20% of the fish caught by French fisheries carry the MSC label.
In summary, the 3 main foundations of the MSC label are :
- Sustainable fish stocks
- Minimized environmental impact
- Effective Fisheries Management
The ASC label
Created in 2010, the ASC label is the cousin of the MSC. It is managed by an independent non-profit organisation and concerns only products from aquaculture.
It guarantees that the fish is produced in an environmentally friendly manner and under good working conditions. This label controls many criteria, right down to the farm's electricity consumption.
This label can be found on 9 species: salmon, tilapia, trout, pangasius, shrimps and seaweed.
The "Friend of the sea" label
Created in 2008, the Friend of the sea (or FoS) label is a non-profit NGO. Its specificity is to certify both wild and farmed fish. Its creator and director is Paolo Bray, known for his Dolphins Safe project.
The "Pêche Durable" Label
The "Pêche Durable" label is the first French public ecolabel!
It is supervised by the national establishment for agricultural and seafood products, FranceAgriMer, unlike its competitors, which are privately run.
The aim of this label is to promote environmental, economic and social requirements.
It currently concerns few products on the market but is set to develop rapidly in France.
The first French fishery benefiting from the "Pêche Durable" label was certified in July 2019.
>> Learn more about the Sustainable Fishing Labels
The Organic label of the European Union
The Organic Label was initiated by the European Union in 2010. It is recognizable by its logo called "Euroleaf".
In France, since 2010, the European label has taken precedence over the label managed by the French Ministry of Agriculture: the AB label (for Agriculture Biologique). For seafood products, this label is reserved for aquaculture.
To benefit from the European Union's organic label, the production cycle must be controlled and monitored throughout the chain.
It certifies that the products bearing this logo comply with the European Union regulation on organic farming. This regulation prohibits in particular synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Signs of origin, quality and brand name
Created in 1960, the Label Rouge "attests to a level of quality superior to similar products usually marketed". It is managed in France by the INAO (Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité).
It certifies compliance with very strict specifications.
Pavillon De France
Pavillon de France is supported by the inter-professional association France Filière Pêche, which brings together producers, fish wholesalers, wholesalers, processors, supermarket retailers and fishmongers in France.
The objectives of this association are to develop sustainable and responsible fishing and to promote the marketing of French fishery products!
Pavillon France enables consumers to identify French seafood products!
Unprecedented mobilization of the profession
It is clear that faced with the growing demand for control over seafood products, professionals are getting together and taking action!
Today, consumers must be made aware of the interest of discovering these new tools that are these labels.
ProcSea is one of the only digital solutions to source labelled seafood products!
If you are a professional and you want to test our platform, do not hesitate to create an account, it's free and without obligation !
> How to order labelled products on ProcSea :