1 Ecoetiquetado de pescado y de productos del mar Dr. Audun Lem Senior Fishery Industry Officer FAO
2 The Bad News; Reality or Perception?
3 The Response:
4 Eco-labels Bring awareness to the consumer that a product was caught or farmed in a way that has fewer impacts on the environment than competitively similar products A market-based mechanism designed to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers and procurement policies of retailers as well as to reward producers In theory, provides more choice for consumers and thereby promotes more sustainable practices in fisheries
5 Market Conditions for Eco-Labels? FAO research shows that conducive markets share 4 key determinants: 1. An environmentally aware and active population 2. Seafood retail dominated by supermarkets rather than fresh fish markets 3. Seafood consumption based on a limited range of species 4. Tradition of processed/packaged seafood products that lend themselves to the attachment of a label
6 Other Labeling Strategies Focus on origin to promote quality
7 Back to Eco-Labels At latest count, 43 private standards and certification schemes exist worldwide
8 Why The Proliferation of Eco-labeling? Perception that public regulatory frameworks are inadequate or unable to ensure the sustainability of fisheries Globalization and increased complexity of the supply chain Supermarket chains have become the dominant players in setting requirements for the products they buy Consumers in the major importing markets are becoming increasingly aware of environmental issues but markets differ
9 A Self Fulfilling Prophecy?? In theory, with increased eco-labeling... Producers sell more fish (?) Retailers sell more fish (?) Certifiers certify more fish (definitely...)
10 Leads to Questions Are eco-labels confusing consumers, or do they provide useful information to consumers? Do they raise costs to exporters or open markets for their certified products? Do they undermine governments responsibility for sustainable resource management or do they compliment government policy? What is the overall impact on fish trade?
11 Potential Benefits Could improve the sustainability of fisheries resources Could increase demand for fish by increasing consumer confidence and awareness Could facilitate new market opportunities for producers and long-term relationships Could add value to the final product and improve quality management Could help improve consumer perceptions of the seafood industry
12 Potential Problems Costs are mostly borne by producers, but the benefits...? May exclude producers from market access and act as a barrier to trade Developing countries represent a small minority of certified fisheries Private certification schemes may duplicate, compete with, or undermine public regulatory frameworks for sustainable resource management Proliferation may confuse consumers
13 Findings: FAO-GLOBEFISH reviewed major ecolabeling certifications in Spain Demand for eco-labels in Spain is still limited and evolving slowly Low consumer recognition may not justify the extra cost for all producers Currently, most eco-labels in Spain are used by large companies Coordination between different eco-labels could simplify process.
14 What Has FAO Done? Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (1995) Guidelines for the Eco-Labeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries (2005) Guidelines for the Eco-Labeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Inland Capture Fisheries (2010) Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification (2011)
15 FAO S Scope of Work Provides guidelines and evaluation frameworks Provides technical assistance on fisheries management Not authorized to certify or undertake individual assessments of eco-labels nor of stocks or fisheries
16 Conclusions! Governments have the principal responsibility for sustainable fisheries management in line with the FAO Code of Conduct Eco-labels can play an important secondary role Lack of empirical evidence on the impact of ecolabeling Eco-labels could potentially harm exports from developing countries ( 50% of all fish exports) Proliferation is costly and confusing. Alternatives?
17 Possible solution? Over time, a collaborative platform could be developed for eco-labels such as the Global Food Safety Initiative for quality and safety (www.mygfsi.com) This initiative improves food safety systems by benchmarking existing food standards against food safety criteria and looks to ensure these standards have the same core requirements Harmonization increases transparency and efficiency in the supply chain, reduces costs and provides assurance of safe food for consumers
18 Gracias For more information: GLOBEFISH Research Programme: El mercado de productos pesqueros en Espana (FAO, 2012) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, SOFIA (FAO, 2012) Washington, S. and Ababouch, L. Private standards and certification in fisheries and aquaculture (FAO, 2011)
Environmental labels and declarations How ISO standards help How green is green? These days we are all trying to be more environmentally conscious, particularly at the supermarket. The problem is knowing
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