Talking Nutrition Editors
Concerns about pollution of the world’s oceans and the depletion of natural resources through overfishing are gaining traction among consumers, with many people worldwide growing more aware of how their food, beverage and dietary supplement choices can impact the environment. Manufacturers globally are, as a result, finding themselves under ever-increasing pressure to reinforce the sustainability and traceability of their products.
Utilizing responsibly sourced ingredients and making sure products have a fully transparent supply chain are therefore crucial to appeal to today’s discerning consumers. To help food, beverage and dietary supplement manufacturers achieve their sustainability commitments, DSM partnered with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) — the global gold standard for certification and eco-labeling of seafood — to ensure that its MEG-3® docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) tuna oils and powders are MSC certified.
The MSC is an international, non-profit organization, established in 1997. It aims to protect the world’s oceans and reverse the effects of overfishing by rewarding sustainable fishing practices, communicating the importance of buying responsibly sourced seafood, and working with their partners to improve the sustainability of the global seafood market. Providing ocean- to- purchase supply chain traceability through over 365 MSC certified fisheries (14% of the global marine catch is engaged with the MSC), the association is a widely recognized program for wild, sustainable, and traceable seafood. The MSC is fully compliant with all third-party regulatory organizations, including the FAO Code of Conduct for Fisheries and Ecolabelling Guidelines.
While DSM’s MEG-3® portfolio is already a trusted source of omega-3 fatty acids, DSM’s new partnership with the MSC guarantees ocean-to-purchase traceability throughout the entire supply chain, offering DSM’s customers the assurance that its tuna DHA products can be traced back to a certified fishery. This is particularly important for manufacturers as consumer demand for more sustainable and traceable products continues to rise. In fact, the 2018 MSC Consumer Insights study, which interviewed more than 25,000 consumers — including 18,900 seafood consumers — across 22 countries worldwide, found that perceptions on seafood and sustainability are evolving, and awareness of the MSC logo is growing.
Demand for independent labeling of seafood products is rising globally. 72% of seafood consumers surveyed agreed that there is a growing need for brands to independently verify sustainability claims, with 74% reporting that they are aware of the MSC logo and have a high level of trust in MSC claims. The global seafood consumers interviewed link the MSC label to sustainability and transparency, recognizing it to encourage and reward sustainable fishing practices. In addition, 83% of seafood consumers who reported being aware of the MSC label said that it helps them identify sustainable seafood products easily and quickly. Meanwhile, 58% of the 2,817 global fish oil consumers questioned would like to learn more about sustainable fish and other seafood from product packaging, highlighting the need for manufacturers to provide this type of information on product labels.
The survey also identified key concerns people have when purchasing seafood. Globally, fish oil consumers are most worried about pollution of the world’s oceans, followed by overfishing. Other issues, depending on the country of residence, are the use of harmful chemicals, ocean acidification and the effects of climate change on marine biodiversity. This reflects the trend for sustainable foods, beverages and dietary supplements, with consumers increasingly looking for more eco-friendly seafood products from brands they can trust.
The responsible production of nutritional products, such as tuna DHA oils and powders, is crucial to not just appeal to today’s critical consumers, but also to preserve natural resources and feed a growing population due to hit nine billion by 2050. DSM’s outlook and operations are very much aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with sustainability being a top priority for DSM. Its partnership with the MSC further strengthens this commitment, while also enabling food, beverage and dietary supplement manufacturers to create more sustainable and fully traceable products.
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