Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) found that 61% of UK consumers do not fully believe the carbon footprint labelling found on grocery products.
Almost three quarters of those surveyed in the ‘Consumer and carbon, cutting through the carbon jargon’ insights report called for more transparency overall.
Of the shoppers that were surveyed, 53% said that too many different types of carbon labelling exist, while 73% thought brands should accept the responsibility for reducing carbon emissions.
Meanwhile, 59% said they have no awareness of what their carbon footprint should be, while 51% suggested they needed help to lower it.
Carbon footprint confusion
Insight and planning specialist Cian O’Mahony said that building “understanding” with consumers was the upcoming challenge for brands in the sector.
“For consumers, current communications around carbon labelling are causing confusion,” O’Mahony added.
“There is an opportunity to cut through and solve the existing communications breakdown, as Bord Bia’s research identifies the most effective methods of improving consumer understanding of carbon. These insights present clear recommendations and guidance for brands and businesses to develop an effective form of carbon communication, which is key in today’s climate.”
Board Bia sets out six principles for UK carbon footprint labelling
In response to the findings, Bord Bia has created 'The 6 C’s' as a set of principles to guide UK brands on carbon footprint labelling.
These guidelines feature tips like including “clear transparent detail” and using “consistent messaging”.
Bord Bia has also developed a carbon emissions guidance document and runs webinars around setting Science Based Target Initiatives.
In related news, healthy and sustainable foods are becoming unaffordable for the poorest people in society according to a new Food Foundation report.