Americans Increasingly Look to Certifications to Align Purchases with Their Values

28 February 2022   |   Fairtrade America

Fairtrade America, The Non-GMO Project and the Marine Stewardship Council partner for a Natural Products Expo West panel to share how certifications can increase sales while protecting people and the planet.

Fairtrade America, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Non-GMO Project announced plans to co-host an in-person, educational panel at the annual Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, March 11, where they will share compelling research outlining why consumers are increasingly purchasing products with people and the planet in mind.

Facilitated by RangeMe, the panel, titled, “Little Labels, Big Impact: How Certifications Can Increase Sales and Protect People and the Planet,” will examine the latest market research and key insights into why consumers prefer products that carry certification labels, which serve as shortcuts to sustainability, accountability and trust.

According to a recent study from GlobeScan, an independent research and strategy consultancy, 30% of consumers agreed they are planning to live more healthily and sustainably when imagining a post-pandemic future. Furthermore, 49% of consumers are highly interested in hearing more stories about the farmers that grow the ingredients in their products, and 65% of Americans believe supermarkets should remove all unsustainable fish and seafood products from their shelves.

Third-party certifications are increasingly one of the most effective ways to quickly communicate to shoppers that products are good for you, climate-friendly and produced responsibly. For example, in 2021, 41% of U.S. shoppers recognized the Fairtrade Mark, an increase of 46% from 2019. Retailers are also recognizing this trend and creating programs and in-store signage, and digital tools that make it even easier for consumers to find products that match their values, like Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly initiative, for example.

“No matter what grocery store or aisle, there is a label to look for that will help the conscious shopper feel good about their purchase having a positive impact on our food system,” shared Hans Eisenbeis, director of mission and messaging at the Non-GMO Project. “We are honored to partner with the MSC and Fairtrade America to share compelling reasons why brands should lean into trusted certifications to give consumers confidence in their purchases.”

Trust in the Non-GMO Project, Fairtrade America and the MSC continues to increase. For example, in the U.S, 57% of consumers trust the Fairtrade Mark (up from 48% in 2019), and 73% of MSC aware consumers report that they trust MSC claims.

“Together with fisheries and companies that offer MSC certified sustainable seafood, consumers’ collective actions to choose MSC labeled products can help improve ocean health and ensure wild seafood for generations to come,” shared Kristen Stevens, senior marketing manager, MSC, USA. “As consumers increasingly look for foods that are making a positive impact on the social and environmental issues they prioritize, choosing products with the MSC blue fish label, the Fairtrade Mark and/or the Non-GMO label is an easy way for them to do just that.”

As brands continue to navigate challenging supply chains and increasing consumer demands for sustainable offerings, these three organizations can offer invaluable data and services that benefit companies and consumers alike.

“We are thrilled to join the Non-GMO Project and the MSC to discuss how certifications, like Fairtrade, help raise the voices of the farmers and workers who grow and craft the goods we purchase daily,” said Peg Willingham, executive director of Fairtrade America. “It’s important that organizations like ours continue to help companies operate ethically and sustainably and communicate that effort to consumers who are making quick decisions in grocery stores and online.”

The “Little Labels, Big Impact: How Certifications Can Increase Sales While Protecting People and Planet” panel is free to badge holders at Expo West attendees, and will take place on Friday, March 11, 2022, from 9-10 a.m. in the Marquis Ballroom NE. The session will also be available via a recording at a later date.

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