New traffic light system for UK food labels will measure ecological footprint

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Supermarket food will be marked in a road light system to be tested in UK supermarkets to identify its environmental impact.

Products are classified into A to G tiers and labelled with green for the least polluting and red for the least polluting products, according to a system developed by Oxford University food scientists with the support of the Word Wide Fund for Nature.

Water utilisation, water pollution and biodiversity are the other three criteria that constitute 17% of the assessment in each case.

Foundation Earth was the brainchild of Denis Lynn, a Northern Irish grocer, who died tragically in May after being involved in a freak quad-driving accident.

Mr Lynn was the founder of Finnbrogue Artisan, a food manufacturer that delivers British supermarkets.

Labour MP Luke Pollard, shadow secretary of state for environment, food and country affairs, said: "People want to do what they can to tackle the climate crisis and help the environment. But at the moment they don't have the information they need to make more sustainable buying choices. I want to see clearer labelling on carbon and environmental credentials so people can back the brands and products doing the right thing by our planet."

"Foundation Earth's ambitions to develop front-of-pack environmental labelling on food has the potential to help address the urgent challenges of sustainability and climate change," said British Environment Minister George Eustice.

Its aim is to foster sustainable purchasing decisions by consumers and cleaner innovation by producers by offering them an incentive to perform better when ecological score for food packaging is taken.