Upfield plans to successively introduce CO2 labelling on 100 million packages of its vegetable spreads, margarines, vegetable butter and vegetable creams. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, enabling consumers to make an informed choice.
Brands such as “Country Crock Plant Butter” in the United States and “Flora Plant” in the UK have already introduced the new CO2 labeling on their labels. In the coming months, Upfield plans to introduce such labels for brands such as Flora, Becel, ProActiv and Rama.
The measure is designed to make consumers more aware of the environmental aspect of buying food. “Upfield is committed to assessing the environmental impact of its plant-based foods and using these assessments to help consumers choose more sustainable foods,” said Sally Smith, head of sustainability at Upfield.
The company refers to a study published at the end of 2018 as one of the reasons for this. According to the study, consumers tend to underestimate the CO2 pollution caused by food. However, if consumers can make direct comparisons between different food groups in this respect, they will choose those with a lower environmental impact.
Consumer information is therefore a crucial step in the transition to a more sustainable food system, says Upfield. The Swiss consulting firm Quantis had previously evaluated the environmental impact of Upfield’s products on behalf of the company. The study was conducted in 21 markets in Europe and North America.
The result: Upfield margarines and spreads on a vegetable basis have on average a 70 percent lower carbon footprint than dairy butter, consume half the amount of water and two thirds less land.