Towards a sustainable food labelling framework to empower consumers to make sustainable food choices

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Nota informativa: Towards a sustainable food labelling framework to empower consumers to make sustainable food choices

Practical information

  1. Composition of the study group
  2. Administrator / Assistant in charge: Monica GUARINONI/ Isabel ANTUNES
  3. Contact

Background

The Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal (EGD) aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally friendly. The draft F2F action plan foresees - amongst others - actions to promote sustainable food consumption and facilitating the shift towards healthy, sustainable diets.

Against this background and building on previous EESC opinions, which identify in one way or the other a transparent labelling framework as an important entry point towards more sustainable food systems, the objective of this OIO is to explore possible options for a sustainable food-labelling framework and to come forward with conclusions and recommendations to support the EC in the development of such a policy framework already at an early stage.

The consumer can play a crucial role for the transition towards more sustainable food systems. Every buying decision puts in principle also the next production order. A stronger demand for sustainable food products will therefore also pull the supply-side towards more sustainability.

Sustainability is a multidimensional concept, which should always equally consider the economic, the environmental and the social dimension. While several different environmental and “green” labels already exist, these are typically private certification schemes or labels, which focus on mainly one aspect of sustainability. For example, a carbon footprint provides solely information about the level of greenhouse gas emissions. Now, there are many more factors, which make up sustainability. However, simply putting lots of information on the packaging may actually just cause even more confusion.

The aim of this OIO is to identify avenues for a transparent and credible sustainability-labelling framework, which is easy to understand and empowers the consumers to make more sustainable food choices. The OIO would contribute to achieving more sustainable and healthy food systems in practice by exploring potential avenues to empower the consumer to make more sustainable buying decisions.