ECO-Labels: Ecoscore to trial in the UK
Food companies including Costa, Marks & Spencer, Greencore, Meatless Farm and Finnebrogue Artisan will all have products scored during a pilot phase. The pilot, due to start in September, products will be scored and labelled using the so-called ‘Mondra method’. Mondra describes itself as a ‘sustainability advisory company’ and its labelling method uses data from the University of Oxford and Swiss research centre Agroscope. The product scores span carbon (49% weighted), water usage (17%), water pollution (17%) and biodiversity loss (17%). The LCA covers farming, processing, packaging and transport, but not retail or ‘end-of-life’. Some suggest that’s understandable given that the process is already quite complicated – everything from the refrigeration units used to the cooking process.
Food Labelling Services comments:
Foundation Earth has brought together the world’s 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. Its aim is to promote more sustainable buying choices from consumers and more environmentally-friendly innovation from food producers, who will be determined to secure a better score. It is important to ensure that there is an universal label and scoring system across the UK and Europe to ensure that consumers can easily understand the data, and that the scoring systems are identical. Consumer education will also be important, and the label should not confuse the consumer when reviewing other information such as claims and Front of Pack nutrition labelling.