Oatly calls for carbon labelling on all food and drink

Oatly has launched a campaign in the UK, calling for all food and drink companies to publish the climate footprint of their products.

Alongside the campaign, the oat drink company has published a paper Climate Labelling: Why Not?, aimed at making the case for mandatory carbon labelling.

The paper argues that as the food system creates 35% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions, changes to consumer choice are vital.

“Our view is that it’s unreasonable to expect this to happen when consumers are not being given the information they need to make informed choices,” said Oatly UK general manager Bryan Carroll.

“Given the urgency of our climate challenge, we believe it should be as easy for shoppers to find the climate impact of what they’re buying, as it is to find its price tag.”

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The paper highlights recommendations by Climate Change Committee that dairy intake needs to be reduced by 20% by 2030 and that the government “implement policies to encourage consumers to shift towards healthier diets and reduce food waste.”

As consumers are already given similar information elsewhere – for example, EPC certificates when buying a house, the same can be applied to food.

Oatly research revealed there is broad public support for mandatory carbon labelling on food and drink to make more informed choices.

A survey found 62% of consumers are in favour of a policy to introduce carbon labelling on food/drink products, and 55% think companies should be obliged to publish that information.

Oatly has been publishing the climate impact data of its products on-pack in the UK since 2019 and is now “inviting those across the full spectrum of the food industry to come together and work out what an effective climate labelling system should look like,” said Carroll.

“Together we can put collective pressure on the UK government to make this happen and not get watered down like some other environmental policies have, sadly, been lately.”

Climate crisisFood and farmingNews

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