Distributor Tropical Traders Specialty Foods says its Royal Hawaiian Honey is the first U.S. food product to be certified Carbonfree, a label marketed by Carbonfund.org. All carbon emissions generated in the production and shipping of the honeys are calculated and offset through reforestation, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, according to the press release.
Carbonfund.org determined how much carbon emissions the product is responsible for, from the gathering of raw materials to the electricity used in production and the shipping of products to their final destination on the shelves.
In the case of the Royal Hawaiian Honey line, Carbonfund.org says certification includes the energy used in the extraction of silica from the ground to manufacture its glass jars, the production and printing of its label, the amount of energy used in bottling the honey, and shipping from the Big Island to markets as far away as New York City.
Carbonfund.org rolled out its CarbonFree Certified Product label in July.
Various environmental labels are becoming more popular on food items. Target Stores Archer Farms brand is using the Green-e certified label and new paperboard packaging certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. SunChips, Frito-Lay’s brand of multigrain snacks, recently began carrying the Green-e logo.
Major corporations like PepsiCo and Wal-Mart Stores are conducting inventories of how much carbon is emitted in making their products and are considering labeling merchandise, The Boston Globe reported in Septmber (via the International Herald Tribune).
The trend is hotter in the UK, where nine companies, including Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola, and Kimberly-Clark, recently signed on to use the draft product carbon footprinting standard, currently being developed by Carbon Trust in partnership with Defra and BSI British Standards, which lets brands sport carbon labels.
More than half of UK consumers want information about the carbon footprint of the products they purchase and nearly half would switch to brands with smaller carbon footprints, according to the L.E.K. Carbon Footprint Report.
You can see more on the eco-label free for all here.