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Sustainability certification and the market - Case studies of the United Kingdom and Sweden

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Kjetil Aune

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Tromsø: Nofima 2013 (ISBN 978-82-8296-136-3) 23, p. Nofima rapportserie (45/2013)

Nøstvold, Bjørg Helen; Kvalvik, Ingrid; Young, James A

The case-studies of Sweden and the United Kingdom confirm that sustainability certification has become an established practice and is a significant factor within business to business trading. We also find that certification and consumer facing logos are more widely used in Sweden than in the UK. While the retail sector in the UK is positive towards the MSC and states that they have a need for the consumer facing logo which they do not charge for, our studies show that they to a very little degree use the logo on the products and that there is a price premium on the logoed products. Furthermore, ”responsibly sourced” is a far more used statement facing the consumer as a concept than is claims of sustainability. UK producers are more sceptical towards certification and MSC in particular. They support the mission of the MSC but think the organisation has become far too large and commercial. In Sweden the respondents in the study have a higher confidence in the MSC, but also the WWF traffic light lists and KRAV. They do not see the need for other options. Even though the majority of frozen products are MSC branded, there is no logo in the seafood counter. The more luxurious the counter the less likely the purchasers are willing to see the MSC as a necessary sustainability certifier, or the necessity of certification at all. In general it is accepted that the consumer does not use the logo at point of purchase but relies on the supermarket taking the responsibility for sustainability. This raises the question of the necessity of a consumer facing logo.

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