TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 06/06/11 -- Sustainability is currently a non-factor in buying or eating seafood for Canadians, a new Leger poll suggests. But a family-owned Canadian company is determined to change this.
Sustainable seafood refers to fish and seafood caught in a way that ensures the long-term health and stability of individual fish species, as well as the oceans' ecological balance as a whole. Overfishing is one of the biggest threats to the health of our oceans.
The Janes Family Foods Seafood Survey, conducted by Leger Marketing in May 2011, reveals that only one in 10 Canadians choose their seafood in grocery stores or restaurants based on seafood sustainability. Taste and price were ranked as having the highest influence on the type of seafood selected.
'Scientists estimate that as much as 75 percent of the world's fish stocks are overfished. It is important for everyone to realize that each of us can help protect the world's oceans from overfishing by choosing certified sustainable seafood when grocery shopping and by not ordering endangered seafood at restaurants,' said Tom Janes, Directory of Sustainability for Janes Family Foods, at an event organized by the Canadian company in Toronto today in celebration of World Oceans Day.
The family-owned and operated producer of an array of frozen chicken, beef and fish products is the first food company in North America to have all of its retail frozen seafood products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world's leading certification and eco-labelling program for sustainable seafood. Janes retail seafood products are offered at Metro, Loblaw, Sobeys and Walmart and other national and local grocery stores.
The blue MSC eco-label on Janes retail seafood packages helps consumers understand and identify seafood products that have been certified to the internationally recognized MSC standard as coming from, and able to be traced back to, a well-managed and sustainable fishery (from boat to plate).
'Janes made the decision to provide only certified sustainable frozen seafood in grocery stores because we believe it is the right thing to do,' said Tom Janes, Director of Sustainability at Janes Family Foods and son of founder Lem Janes Sr. 'Our family grew up on the east coast of Canada where my father first arrived in Canada from Estonia. We saw the impact of the collapse of cod in Newfoundland.'
'We had a hunch that there is low public awareness about the crisis facing our oceans today and sadly the survey results confirm our suspicions. However, we believe that providing only certified sustainable seafood to our retail customers is the right thing to do. The good news is that if we each take small steps that have maximum benefit, we can make a difference in protecting our oceans. This is why we encourage Canadians to take time on World Oceans Day to learn more about the health of our oceans and what we can do to help.'
The results revealed by the Leger survey include:
-- Only one in 10 Canadians consider sustainability as affecting their choice of a seafood product in shopping at a grocery store or going to a restaurant (12 per cent). -- Almost one in five BC residents mentioned 'sustainable seafood product' as affecting their choices (18 per cent). -- Choosing a sustainable seafood product increases with age and education; 15 per cent for seniors aged 65 and 17 per cent for university-educated Canadians. -- More women than men considered sustainability as important (15 per cent women versus 10 per cent men). -- Fifty-nine per cent considered taste, and 55 per cent price as key motivators. -- Only 17 per cent of Canadians know about the MSC label (Marine Stewardship Council). -- BC residents are the most familiar with this label (25 per cent). -- As education increases, so does awareness of the MSC label. One in five of those with university education (21 per cent) are familiar with the MSC label. -- Percentage of net awareness that Canadians have about the ocean: -- One third of the world's fish and seafood species have collapsed - that is, their catch has declined by 90 per cent (39 per cent) -- Less than 1.0 per cent of the world's oceans are protected by marine reserves, meaning more than 99 per cent of the ocean is fishable (31 per cent) -- Eight per cent of all fish caught are discarded dead or dying; these fish are referred to as by-catch (30 per cent)
June 8 is World Oceans Day an international day recognizing the importance of the oceans on everyone's day-to-day life. For information about the world's oceans and ideas on how you can celebrate World Oceans Day, visit www.worldoceansday.org
The online survey of 1,500 adult Canadians, 18 years of age or older, was conducted by Leger Marketing from May 24, 2011 to May 26, 2011. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5.
Janes Family Foods is a Canadian, family-run company producing high-quality innovative frozen seafood, chicken and beef products within the retail sector and food service sector. Using only the finest ingredients, Janes products are made to exacting quality standards to provide delicious and nutritious foods that Lem Janes Sr. would be proud to serve at home. Visit www.janesfamilyfoods.com for more information about the company and www.janesfamilyseafood.ca for details about Janes' commitment to seafood sustainability and other eco-sustainable initiatives. Janes is also on Twitter at @JanesGreen at www.twitter.com.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is the world's leading certification and eco-labelling program for sustainable seafood. From boat to plate: MSC standards and methodologies for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability have been developed in collaboration with experts to ensure that MSC-labelled seafood comes from, and can be traced back to, a sustainable fishery. The MSC meets the highest benchmarks for credible certification and eco-labelling programs, including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization guidelines and the ISEAL Code of Good Practice. Visit www.msc.org for more details.