When you buy a washing machine, a refrigerator or a TV there is a sticker on it, which shows the energy efficiency (EU directive of 1992).
Because in our food system, which threatens the extinction of 10,000 species, emits about 30% of greenhouse gases and causes 80% of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, are not labels similar to those of household appliances?
The ruling on home appliances has had a huge impact; initially, 75% of refrigerators and freezers were classified from G to D (low efficiency), but today 98% is classified as A ++ or A +++. Worldwide, the energy efficiency of labeled appliances has increased three times faster than non-labeled home appliances.
Introducing an equivalent food system could have an even greater impact.
Obligatory environmental labels would change the way we produce and consume; producers should measure their impacts in a uniform way and be responsible for the results. This would not be costly: environmental impacts can be monitored using digital tools such as Fieldprint and Cool Farm Tool . Furthermore, satellite data could monitor information on the farmer.
Olam , one of the largest farms in the world, already follows 160,000 farmers through its information system on farmers.
The mandatory labels would support sustainable consumption. A chocolate bar can create 6.5 kg of CO2eq - the same as driving 30 miles in a car - but zero emissions if cocoa trees grow and store carbon. High-impact beef producers use 5,700% more lands and create 1,000% more emissions than low-impact producers. Labels would allow consumers to distinguish these products. They would then highlight the producers of high and low impact, in the same way, on more products. This would encourage more people to think about their choices by exposing them to facts, whenever they are in stores. And this is really important, because we need a more serious action than people simply by choosing a different chocolate bar.
Another important factor is that mandatory environmental labels would create information on the food system and today this information is very low. This could be the basis for a better policy, particularly for taxes related to real environmental damage.
This system would reward sustainable companies, allow sustainable food and support better policies.
This relatively simple but powerful change could stop and reverse the increasing degradation of our endangered planet.
A simple solution that can change the world.