Swedish supermarket chain Coop has announced it will be creating new “sustainability” labels for all of its food products, including their climate impact.
The Swedish company announced the new labels, which will be accessed on electronic devices by scanning a bar code. Coop compared the sustainability labels to ingredients labels, a practice the company began as early as 1946.
“Many of our members and customers today are looking for guidance on how to make sustainable choices in stores, which is why we will begin to show how each individual has affected the earth’s resources, climate, and society,” Coop CEO Magnus Johansson said in a press release.
“We want to change the food industry so that we become even more sustainable and we hope, of course, that the entire industry will follow us in this initiative,” Johansson added.
Eat Bugs: New EU Food Policy Promotes Less Meat, More 'Alternative Proteins' https://t.co/OerVMmQW06
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The company said the sustainability score will be determined by ten different ratings, including whether products are locally sourced and their claimed impact on climate change.
“A commodity may have a small climate imprint, but at the same time, a major negative impact on the local population’s life and work environment in production. For us at Coop, it is important to show several aspects of a product’s impact,” Charlotta Szczepanowski, Coop’s Head of Sustainability and Quality, said.
Coop’s proposal has been supported by major American politicians in the past including Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, who said last year that she backed climate impact labels on food.
“I’ve always believed that we should, you know, expand what’s on those cans of those things you buy in the grocery store,” Harris said. She added: “We should expand the list. And included in that should be a measure of the impact on the environment.”
Others, such as those involved with the European Commission’s Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy, have stated that the public should not only consider eating a more vegetable-based diet, but also consider alternative forms of protein such as insects.
Swedish academic and behavioural scientist Magnus Söderlund shocked many last year when he floated the idea of cannibalism as a climate-saving idea.