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If you’re a food and drink business, then the new eco-labelling scheme being piloted this autumn 2021 is something you should be keeping your eye on.

As carbon balanced printed packaging experts, we care about the environment and, as we specialise in packaging for those that make food and drink products, it’s an interesting development that we are keen to support.

We are also pleased to see big industry names taking part in the initiative run by Foundation Earth including Nestlé, Marks & Spencer’s and Co-op, as well as politicians and scientists who are all seeking a more sustainable food industry.

What is it?

It’s a sticker placed on the front of products, which will measure and score the environmental factors involved in the complete lifecycle of the product, including its packaging.

Its aim is to promote more sustainable buying choices from consumers and more environmentally friendly innovation from food and drink producers.

As a result, products can be compared against each other within the same category and others.

How do they work and can you spot one?

They’re based on a traffic-light system and take a similar approach and appearance to the stickers already used to display salt, sugar and calorie contents of food.

The products will be given a rating based on specific criteria such as water usage, water pollutions, biodiversity loss and carbon emissions, across the whole lifecycle including farming, processing, packaging and transport.

The rating itself will be graded from A* to G, as well as colour-coded green, amber or red. Those rated A* and coloured green, being the most eco-friendly, while those with a G rating and coloured red, will be the least.

This will allow customers to make educated choices about the products they buy.

Environmental transparency

Prof Chris Elliott OBE, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee at Foundation Earth, said: “The development of a more transparent, sustainable global food supply system is of huge importance to the health of our planet and health of all citizens.”

This is a great step forwards for those in the industry and customers will be able to see a physical representation of products that have a low-carbon footprint and considers sustainability.

Should this go ahead permanently, it will also enhance considerations for smaller, artisan food and drink businesses who we know already have this ethos in place.

Ellie Ley-Morgan

Author Ellie Ley-Morgan

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