Dr. Kate Barclay of the University of Technology in Sydney (Australia), will give a seminar, entitled 'Is 'Consumer Passivism' Behind the Sustainable Seafood Movement?'.
Private standards, certification and ecolabelling are widely used forauditing environmental performance aimed at improving production and insome cases fisheries management practices. In the last decade, the notion of sustainable seafood has gained traction and with it, the use ofconsumer-facing ecolabels has increased. Through these ecolabels, theaim is also to produce social innovation by generating consumer demandfor certified ‘sustainable’ seafood. This implies that consumer activismplays a role in the movement. Consumer activism is normally understoodas consumers using their purchasing decisions to reward ‘good’ players with price premiums or market share, and conversely to punish ‘bad’players by turning away from their products.This seminar questions the role consumers are playing in the movement,and their relationship with retailers and brands, and NGOs. Building on a paper co-authored by Dr. Alice Miller, Dr. Barclay presents a conceptualisation of this role to understand more fully how ecolabelling operates, and therefore the potential and limits to its effectiveness in encouraging more sustainable production.