Over 60% of UK consumers do not trust carbon claims made by top brands

Almost two-thirds (61%) of UK consumers do not trust the carbon footprint claims made by top retailers and brands, according to new data from the Irish food board Bord Bia.

In its latest report, ‘Cutting through the carbon jargon’, 53% of shoppers said there are too many different messages related to their footprint and emissions.

A further 59% of customers said they had no awareness of what their carbon footprint should even be, with 51% saying they need help lowering their emissions because they faced barriers when attempting to understand how to reduce their footprint.

Consumers expressed confusion around terminology including ‘sustainability’, ‘environmental’ and ‘carbon positive’, and were overwhelmed by the number of different industry benchmarks included on packaging.

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Overall, 73% of shoppers felt that household brands should take on responsibility for reducing emissions and said they need to be more transparent with customers in relation to their corporate footprint.

To address carbon labelling issues, the report suggested guidelines including credible proof points, clear transparent detail, comparative certification and consistent messaging.

“With the ongoing journey of many food and drink organisations towards net zero, carbon labelling and its understanding among consumers is a crucial area for brands and businesses,” said Bord Bia insight and planning specialist Cian O’Mahony.

He went on to say that the UK is leading in this space, led by WRAP and IGD, and that “current communications around labelling” are causing confusion.

He 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.”

“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.”

Food and farmingNet zeroNews

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