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Groups Lobby for ‘Water Footprint’ on Food/Bev Items

water-droplet2Food and beverage items deserve a special label that indicates their “water footprint,” two food and health groups in the UK say.

The Food Ethics Council and Sustain have released a joint report that lobbies the UK government for action on creating such a label.

A water footprint label would not delve specifically into the amount of water used to create the product, the groups say. Instead, the label would be a sort of stamp of approval for good water stewardship practices by the manufacturer, reports The Guardian UK.

The report refers to the “embedded” value of water in a product. For instance, to make a cup of coffee, about 140 liters of water are used in various growing and processing actions.

The report makes a distinction between water intensive foods like fruits, vegetables and meats, versus lower water-use foods like grains.

An upcoming UK government report on food security will touch on the level of water dependency in the island nation.

The report from Food Ethics Council and Sustain notes the government’s interest in the issue, stating, “Defra is concerned by the high level of UK water dependency both for future UK food security and because of the pressure caused by UK imports on the water resources of other countries.”

The Food Ethics Council and Sustain suggest that a water footprint label could be administered along the same lines as the carbon label from the Carbon Trust.

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One thought on “Groups Lobby for ‘Water Footprint’ on Food/Bev Items

  1. This issue has already been raised in ISO and an international standard on water footprint declarations will be developed in the near future. The water footprint standard is under the scope of ISO Technical Committee (TC) 207, Environmental Management (ISO/TC 207).

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