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UK Government Calls for Food Labels to Show Carbon Footprint

QuakerOatscerealSupermarket food in the UK will be labeled to show its carbon footprint, country of origin and animal welfare standards as part of the government’s new food strategy for the next 20 years, reports the Telegraph. The voluntary  “green” food labels will show how much carbon was produced in the manufacture and transportation of food, according to the article.

Companies such as Tesco, PepsiCo and other leading brands already display a “carbon reduction label” on certain products showing the amount of carbon dioxide produced in grams in growing the food, packaging and transportation, reports the Telegraph.

Now the UK government wants other brands to consider measuring the carbon footprint of goods along with including country of origin and compliance to animal welfare standards on the labels, reports the Telegraph.

But environmental groups said in the article that the government needs legislation rather than a voluntary labeling scheme to really transform food and farming.

A government-supported body, the Carbon Trust, is currently working with the food industry, including big brands like Boots and Innocent, to help manufacturers determine and display the carbon footprint of different items.

Quaker Oats and Quaker Simple, part of PepsiCo, was the first cereal brand to carry the Carbon Trust Carbon Reduction Label, according to Carbon Trust.

The government is also asking all retailers to join the Pigmeat Labeling Code of Practice, due to be published next month, which will show where the animals were born, reared and processed, reports the Telegraph.

Critics believe carbon labeling will do little to fight climate change unless more low carbon products become available, according to the article.

Other countries including Sweden also call for labels listing the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the production of foods, which is expected to cut the nation’s emissions from food production by 20 to 50 percent.

In Japan, about 30 companies said they would voluntarily start carrying carbon footprint labels on food packaging and other products beginning in April 2009. This was followed by Australia’s announcement to join the UK in using the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label.

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4 thoughts on “UK Government Calls for Food Labels to Show Carbon Footprint

  1. Now that 3M/Mantra Venture Group have found a profitable conversion use for CO2 via E.R.C., there is an even better reason for the carbon footprint to show how well companies are doing!

  2. None of this matters you morons! It’s the coldest winter in 25 years, further proving CO2 is NOT the pollutant. “Green” is about one thing….MONEY!

  3. This is an incorrect reading of the government’s Food 2030 strategy, which does not include any commitments on carbon labelling apart from saying it intends to understand its role better. It is true that the Carbon Trust (a publicly funded body) has been working with companies on its Carbon Reduction Label scheme, but this is a voluntary scheme and not the same as the government calling for it.
    Also, I suggest Jeff R reads the entry for 6th Jan on The Guardian’s environment blog before calling other people morons.

  4. I really didn’t notice the carbon foot print. This is a new information for me. I didn’t heard about the carbon foot print before. Thanks for sharing these informations to us. Also I would like to congratulate the effort behind this work.

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