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Denmark plans supermarket product labelling based on environmental impact

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark plans supermarket product labelling based on environmental impact
Food and drink products in Denmark could be given labelling to reflect their impact on climate. File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark has moved a step closer to environmental markings on everyday products after an expert group submitted recommendations on how to implement the labelling.

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The decision to set up a labelling system for the environmental imprint of products was made in 2022, and the markings are now a step closer to appearing in stores after the recommendations were made by an expert group, news wire Ritzau reports.

The group has recommended a scale model which ranks food products in relation to their relative climate imprints.

A colour scale from green to red will be used, similar to the scale already used on household appliances to denote their energy efficiency.

Food and drink may be responsible for up to 37 percent of the global climate footprint, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said.

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Consumers in Denmark are keen to make climate-friendly choices but do not always know how this transfers to products, according to Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Jacob Jensen.

“I will now look forward to digging into these recommendations so we can take the last and decisive step towards getting the climate labelling in our supermarkets andhopefully inspire other countries to look in our direction,” he said in a press statement.

The extent to which the labelling appears in stores is not under the minister’s control, however, as it is not possible for the government to mandate obligatory labelling of this types.

Jensen said introducing a system would nevertheless make a difference.

“I think it will go somewhere if consumers can make decisions on an informed basis and will affect the discussion as a whole – including for producers and others who work with this,” he said.

The Danish Confederation of Industry (DI) said it supports the idea as a supplement to existing dietary information on foods.

“If we are to be successful with the green transition and successful with reducing climate impacts through Danish consumption, it’s crucial that we work together and find solutions,” sector director Leif Nielsen said in a statement.

The markings would first appear on products in 2025 according to the current schedule.

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