Consumers want carbon labelling on food products

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers are more conscious of the environmental impact of their food
Consumers are more conscious of the environmental impact of their food

Related tags Packaging & labelling Sustainability

Pressure mounts on food processors to have a low carbon footprint, as UK consumers call for carbon footprint labelling on the products they eat, according to research by The Compleat Food Group.

The Impact Eating: The Rise of Carbon Labelling​’ report found that 73% of UK consumers felt it was important for their food and drink to have a low carbon footprint, while nearly half (49%) said they wanted to see carbon footprint labelling on products.  

It also found that just 25% said they fully the fully understood what ‘carbon neutral’ meant, while only 20% said they understood the term ‘net zero’. 

Unclear messaging  

Yvonne Adam, chief marketing officer at The Compleat Food Group, said: “It’s clear that UK consumers want to make better choices for their own wellbeing and for the health of the planet, but they are struggling to make informed decisions through a lack of understanding and unclear messaging. Clear carbon labelling could be a big step in the right direction.” 

The White Paper also highlighted the potential opportunity that improving consumer choice and access to low impact products offers the UK grocery sector.  

Currently, sustainably-minded shoppers represent 29% of the population worth £37bn, with 18-34 year olds more likely to buy products with a lower carbon footprint over other products. 

Want to shop sustainably 

However, research from Kantar identified a further 34% of the UK population who would like to shop more sustainably, but can’t, as products are harder to find or too expensive, potentially worth a further £44bn. 

Chief executive Nick Field added: “We can no longer focus on just minimising environmental impacts, we have to go much, much further.  What we do next as a sector will have a major bearing on the health and welfare of future generations at a time when we are navigating some of the strongest headwinds ever faced.  

“With the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis, the rising cost of living and an increase in dissenting voices in the media, the sustainability agenda has never been more important, but never under such threat.” 

Related topics Environment Packaging & Labelling

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2 comments

Wake up Jeremy

Posted by Sarah Stevenson,

In reply to that ignorant comment from Jeremy Craig Weston.

If you only care about "quality" and "price"...trust me you will start caring about climate change when there is no more crops left because the industrial agriculture system that you love so much cannot produce any more food due to rampant ecocide that is going on in the developing world.

"Cheap" produce like soy, palm oil, meat and dairy comes at an immense environmental cost and this cannot be produced in the same way as it has been in the past without destroying the planet and all of the "quality" and "cheap" food you rely upon. In terms of extreme weather, crop failures and famine induced by climate change we have already reached this point in history and you can see this on the news. If you are not aware of this...then you are watching too much Murdoch propaganda.

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What a complete load of cobblers.

Posted by Jeremy Craig-Weston,

What I care about as a consumer and particularly at the moment is price followed by quality; the idea that I might be interested in all this nonsense or that it might affect my purchasing habits is entirely risible

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