Lecture by Dr Ulrike Eberle in the Bundestag on environmental labels for food
As part of the series of events organised by the initiative “Together for Carbon Labelling– TCL“, Dr Ulrike Eberle from corsus gave a lecture on climate and environmental labelling of food on 19.10.2023 in the Bundestag. “An effective environmental label for food must follow uniform standards and be mandatory so that no cherry picking can take place. In addition, a life cycle assessment database for food in Germany is urgently needed,” said Ulrike Eberle.
Currently, many European countries are working on environmental labels for food. An environmental and sustainability label for food is also being discussed at the European Union level. Ulrike Eberle made it clear in her presentation that labelling of environmental impacts is already possible today. However, this requires defined standardised rules that apply to generic data as well as to specific data. The basis for labelling is that a life cycle assessment database is set up for Germany that contains the required information and is made available free of charge. At present, this database does not exist. However, the Agribalyse database from France could be used for a transitional period. However, the data sets would have to be adapted to German conditions. Agribalyse is currently the only complete, freely available life cycle assessment database for food in Europe. In Ulrike Eberle’s view, it is essential that German politicians support the establishment of such a database in Germany and that standarts are laid down for this in Europe. However, we should not wait until the supposedly perfect solution has been developed. It can already be started, the methods available are sufficiently mature.
Many research projects in Germany and Europe are currently working on a methodological concept for environmental labelling of food. corsus is involved in some of these projects, for example in the EEKLIM project at the University of Göttingen and in a European project with partners in France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. In EEKLIM, corsus is focusing on developing a methodological concept for food labelling. In the European project Eco Food Choice, which starts in November, corsus is investigating how the French database Agribalyse can be transferred to other European countries, such as Germany.
The initiative ‘Together for Carbon Labelling’ (TCL) has set itself the goal of achieving more transparency on greenhouse gas emissions from food. To this end, companies in the sector have joined forces to find out whether and how this could be indicated on the product. Dr Ulrike Eberle advises the initiative as a life cycle assessment and labelling expert in the food sector. More about the project: Together for Carbon Labelling