Time is right for a new industry-wide sustainable seafood story
The seafood industry delivers a high protein food with one of the lowest environmental footprints and yet it is still overshadowed by a history of unsustainable practices. The industry has come a long way over the last two decades by adopting responsible farming practices, to creating sustainable feeds. It has a positive environmental story and the time might just be right to launch a good news story that is simple and allows easy engagement by consumers.
There is a shift in the market towards more positive messaging around seafood from key NGOs, partly lead by a holistic view of the global food system. Last month WWF launched their Planet Diet complete with menu planner where seafood features more prominently than other high protein foods. They encourage consumers to purchase certified seafood, and it’s clear they see it as part of the solution in a planet friendly diet.
This is not surprising given that fish has a smaller environmental impact compared to other high protein food choices, as showed in the Protein Scorecard by the World Resources Institute. An image repositioning strategy is required to change the existing consumer mindset, however we the industry can perpetuate a myth by simply defending ourselves all the time. That is why BioMar has created the Sustainable Nutrition campaign; www.supportyourplanet.com to help inspire a new, simple message that we can all adopt.
“Fish have a great sustainable protein story, one that will inspire people to eat more seafood not only for their own health but for the health of our planet. Everyone operating in the seafood industry can relate to this campaign”, said Katherine Bryar, Global Head of Marketing & Branding, BioMar Group.
In recent research conducted this year by Global Scan and MSC, showed that 71% of consumers want to reduce their environmental footprint and 45% even feel guilty about their impact on the planet. For most people helping to solve climate change seems too large and complicated of a problem. This campaign was designed to show people that with a simple food choice they can make a difference, one bite at a time.
“With this type of behavioural-change marketing, it is important to maintain positive messaging when telling your story and avoid demonising others”, said Ms Bryar.
BioMar has shared the concept with several seafood industry bodies, and there is interest to take it directly to consumers. A Sustainable Nutrition taskforce with representatives from Global Salmon Initiative, Chilean Salmon Marketing Council, British Trout Association, Norwegian Seafood Federation and Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, has been formed and others are welcomed to join. Together they will combine their collective expertise and resources to design a marketing and media strategy. All going well the taskforce hopes to launch this campaign to consumers in key markets in Q2 2021.
“For BioMar it is important that we support our customers and if this helps create a positive environmental image around seafood and increases consumption than it’s a win-win scenario for us as we are solely dedicated to the sustainable future of the aquaculture industry”, said Carlos Diaz, CEO BioMar Group.
‘Salmon has long been accepted as a healthy food, but we are now proud to be able to demonstrate its strong sustainability credentials too. Through the collaborative efforts within GSI, our farmers are committed to seeking and supporting farming practices which will both drive healthy and sustainable food systems and contribute to nutritious, climate-conscious diets around the world’.
Sophie Ryan, CEO, Global Salmon Initiative
“Farmed fish is a good example of a nutrient rich food with a low environmental impact. It’s an easy and delicious way for you and your family to eat for personal and planetary health.”
Sharon Natoli, Director of Food & Nutrition Australia and Author of Food for a Better Future
“CSMC is proud, through our global brand Salmon de Chile, to join companies like BioMar in relaying the broader story about continuous improvement in salmon aquaculture. The world, more than ever, requires healthy and sustainable protein and together we are meeting this demand – for today and for the future.”
James Griffin, Director, Chilean Salmon Marketing Council