The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) are combining once more to deliver their shared industry Awards for 2024 with a new look and updated categories.

Official awards partner ASC will roll out three key categories again for 2024’s MSC and ASC UK Awards, while the MSC has revamped some of its categories

For the first time ever, the MSC UK Product of the Year category will be judged by public voting. This new approach will directly engage consumers, highlighting the wealth and diversity of sustainable seafood products available on shelf in the UK. With nominated products already submitted, public voting for Product of the Year will open on 15th July, along with entry for all other Award categories.

Other changes to the awards will see the two former retail award categories combined to a new MSC UK Supermarket of the Year, with gold, silver and bronze prizes across all retail, offering smaller national retailers the chance to be recognised alongside the multi-nationals chains. The MSC UK Seafood Brand of the Year will also now see canned and frozen third-party brands compete alongside chilled third-party brands for the first time in the redesigned award category which merged the previous MSC UK Frozen Brand of the Year and MSC UK Canned Brand of the Year. The MSC UK Online Brand of the Year will now be judged based on self-nominations, giving brands more opportunity to shout about the innovative sustainability initiatives on their online platforms.

ASC’s three award categories are: ASC UK Retailer of the Year, ASC UK Retail Supplier of the Year and ASC UK Brand of the Year. Last year, Sainsbury’s and New England Seafood International both did the double, winning MSC and ASC UK Retailer of the Year and MSC and ASC UK Retail Supplier of the Year, respectively.

The MSC and ASC UK Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in sustainable fishing and responsible aquaculture across the entire UK fishing, aquaculture and business spectrum, Winners can use their title to promote their commitment to sustainable seafood and responsible aquaculture, and the role they’ve played in helping grow ecolabel awareness and understanding amongst seafood consumers around the UK.

George Clark, MSC UK & Ireland Programme Director, said: “After ten successful years of recognising and rewarding the remarkable efforts that go into bringing sustainable seafood from ocean to plate through our UK awards, we felt it was the right time to refresh some of the key categories to reflect changes in the wider landscape. We are also thrilled to be partnering once more with ASC which ensures the entire seafood sector is celebrated in these awards, and I’m excited to see who our set of winners are after the nominations and judging are complete!”

Maud van den Haspel, ASC General Manager for UK and Benelux said:  “We are delighted to join our friends at the MSC once more in awarding some of our key partners in the seafood industry. Driving the aquaculture sector towards sustainability would not be possible without the commitments of our partners and the efforts they put into supplying and sourcing ASC certified seafood. We’re looking forward to recognising and celebrating those efforts once again!”

This year’s awards event will be held in October in the South West, in Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City and a fitting venue for celebrating sustainable fishing and seafood. Further details of the awards can be found here.

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Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

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