Consumers want a climate label for food, research shows

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What if on the back of your favourite chocolate bar, next to the list of ingredients and nutritional values, there was also a label certifying the chocolate maker's commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of the product? A new study reveals that the majority of consumers across the USA, UK, Italy, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, and Sweden would be in favour of such "climate labelling" for food.

The research, conducted by YouGov for carbon management and reduction organization Carbon Trust, found that two-thirds (67 percent) of some 9,000 polled consumers support a label to demonstrate that products have been made with a commitment to measuring and reducing their carbon footprint.

Surprisingly, support for carbon labelling was lowest in Sweden, where just under half (49 percent) of consumers believe it is a good idea. Conversely, in Southern Europe, the proposal was met with the highest rate of approval, with 85 percent of Italian consumers being in favour of the label.

Hugh Jones, Managing Director of Business Services at the Carbon Trust commented: “There is real transformative power in getting consumers to change their everyday purchasing decisions to favour low carbon products. This was highlighted in last year’s IPCC special report on 1.5 degrees, which showed that without significant behavioural shifts it will be impossible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."

At the same time consumers cannot make better choices without reliable information and as the research shows there is a strong appetite to understand the climate impact of products.”

Credit header image: Sander van der Wel/Wikipedia

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