YouGov was commissioned by the Carbon Trust to do a study about consumers and food carbon footprint.
It found that 67% of international consumers wanted a ‘recognisable label’ explaining how the product was made and its carbon footprint.
The survey demonstrated that consumers would “feel more positive” about brands that were taking steps towards reducing their products carbon footprint.
The desire for carbon labelling shows a shift in consumer mindset towards making eco-friendly choices. There are signs of awareness of the impact that food production has on the planet. This survey suggests that there is a willingness to adopt sustainable food purchasing habits if it is easy to do so.
Additionally, clear labelling has the potential to close the value-action gap. Many consumers voice that they hold environmentally-friendly values but do not act on these values due to factors such as convenience and lack of research. Carbon labelling would enable consumers to make green choices, without having to compromise on convenience.
However, carbon labelling is not a new concept, attempts at this have been tried and failed; in 2008, Tesco adopted a similar scheme but stopped due to the amount of research per product to calculate the carbon footprint. This suggests that for a scheme such as this to be a success, there needs to be sufficient funding for research and evidence of impact.