If you ask any Australian how they feel about issues like sustainability in regards to the foods they eat, the great majority would probably say that they consider it important and think Australia as a nation should be taking steps to improve it.
However, recent studies show that in practice, sustainability is at the lower end of the priority scale for most Aussies.
The research in question was originally conducted by Lonergan Research over the summer of 2012 and commissioned by John West Australia. This study showed that when purchasing items where sustainability is a concern – such as canned tuna or other seafood – only 4-5% of those polled said that sustainability was an important factor in their purchasing decisions. This is the same priority level found to be placed on the actual size of the can itself.
The research also showed that what’s the most important to modern Australians was taste and flavor with over 30% saying it was their primary concern when shopping. At least 25% of the rest of those polled ranked taste as being among their top concerns.
However, many experts believe that the low level of concern shown for the sustainability of the foods Australians buy could well be related to a lack of national awareness as to what the term “sustainable seafood” actually means. Other studies conducted estimate that thorough awareness hovers around 25% of the Australian population with men being 6% more likely than women to be ranked among those numbers.
The solution to the awareness problem may lie in labeling, as 85% of Aussie citizens said that they don’t know how to tell a given product is sustainable unless labeled. Another 60% have stated that if labeling became compulsory, they would not purchase seafood that wasn’t caught using proper sustainable practices.