Alexis Gutiérrez

DPhil Student, Environmental Change Institute

Consumers and Environmental Labelling – What do they actually understand? A case study of the seafood industry

Today, in some developed countries there is now a proliferation of certification schemes/eco-labels and growing acceptance of these schemes by retailers. This study will look at two case studies – the United States and the United Kingdom -- to understand the feedback loop between consumers and the fishing sector that has evolved over the last thirty years as a result of seafood eco-labelling.  Semi-structured interviews and surveys with consumers, retailers, non-governmental organizations, processors, government officials, and fisherman will be conducted to ascertain what consumers understand about seafood eco-labelling and what they respond to. While seafood eco-labelling studies have been conducted in the past using willingness to pay surveys, this study seeks to understand consumers’ perceptions of seafood eco-labelling and whether these labels empower consumers to consume sustainably. This study will provide recommendations to governments, industry and non-governmental organizations on what they can do to strengthen their efforts to use eco-labels to incentivize sustainable fisheries.