Source of article: Supermarkets and food producers to trial traffic light eco-labels
By: Liz Wells
Front-of-pack environmental scores on food products are set to be introduced as part of a new pilot organised by the non-profit organisation Foundation Earth.
Foundation Earth has brought together two leading systems for measuring the environmental impact of an individual food product and communicating the information “clearly and simply” to consumers via a front-of-pack score.
The aim is to “promote more sustainable buying choices from consumers and more environmentally-friendly innovation from food producers”, Foundation Earth says.
Co-op, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Nestlé, Tyson Foods and Spanish supermarket Eroski have signed up to “explore the potential” for environmental labelling on food products.
A pilot launch will see front-of-pack environmental scores launch on a range of products this September, while Nestlé is supporting an intensive nine-month development programme to prepare the Foundation for full Europe-wide roll out in 2022.
The Foundation Earth research and development programme will produce a fully automated system for use across the UK and EU by autumn 2022.
UK secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, George Eustice, said: “Foundation Earth’s ambitions to develop eco-labelling on food has the potential to help address the urgent challenges of sustainability and climate change.
“The government continues to support the industry to become more sustainable, for instance through our funding for the Waste and Resources Action Programme and support for the Courtauld 2025 initiative, which aims to cut carbon, water and food waste in the food and drink sector.”
Johannes Weber, European affairs manager at Nestlé, added: “Nestlé is committed to building a more sustainable food system and providing consumers with the best information to make sustainable choices. These choices will drive the innovation we need to see across our food industry.
“This pan-European scientific project will help us to further develop the concept of communicating the environmental impact of our food and beverage products. Foundation Earth will provide us with the opportunity to test environmental footprint methods, learn how different products perform and establish how consumers respond. We hope this could help inform discussions in Europe with regards to a harmonised system for environmental scores.”