Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Food labelling and traceability

Image: Angie Six, Quorn Chick-n Nuggets, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
4 June 2018

France recently amended its agriculture bill to ban non-animal foods from being labelled similarly to animal products, e.g. “soy sausage”, on the basis that such labelling could be misleading to consumers.

4 June 2018

The book “A handbook of food crime: Immoral and illegal practices in the food industry and what to do about them”, edited by Allison Gray and Ronald Hinch, discusses some of the problems in current food systems that lead to food crime. Topics discussed include food adulteration, forced labour in the chocolate industry, animal transportation and regulation of food waste.

Image: Detmold, FIshing boat, Pixabay, Creative Commons CC0
21 May 2018

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) hopes to use blockchain technology to make the entire seafood supply chain traceable. Working with tech startup TraSeable, fishing company Sea Quest and blockchain company Viant, WWF is running a pilot project to trace tuna through the supply chain by tagging catches with radio-frequency identification chips and QR codes - which can be scanned by a mobile phone.

Image: Beans Proteins, Max Pixel, Creative Commons CC0
21 May 2018

Consumers prefer the term “100% plant-based” to “vegan”, according to a survey of US adults. When asked a series of questions including “Which tastes better?” and “Which is healthier?”, more than two-thirds of respondents selected “100% plant-based” over “vegan” (no other answers were available). According to Bark Stuckey (President and Chief Innovation Officer of Mattson, the organisation that conducted the survey), the preference might be because “plant-based” is seen as a positive dietary change, whereas “vegan” is seen as a whole lifestyle associated with deprivation and activism.

Image: USDA, Man shopping in supermarket, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
21 May 2018

Shoppers do not notice sustainability rating logos on packaging, according to a report by QuadPackaging and Package Insight. In the study, 60 participants had their eye movements tracked while “shopping” in a retail laboratory. The products they were presented with were fictional brands with logos claiming different levels of sustainability. The logos did not represent a real sustainability standard. While 40% of the participants said that sustainability affects their purchasing decisions, the eye-tracking technology showed that 92% of the participants did not notice the sustainability logos.

Image: BTC Keychain, Bitcoin Chain IMG_9185, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

The blockchain could be used to make it easier to trace the source of food items and tackle food safety scares quickly, but the system still depends on the honesty of those making the data entries.

Image: Hernán Piñera, Regreso / Return, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
6 February 2018

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Liberty Asia and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership have created a database to help corporate seafood buyers check fisheries for risk of slavery, forced labour and hazardous child labour.

13 January 2018

Swiss company Eaternity has developed a set of tools to aid restaurants and chefs to get insights into the supply-chain of the produce they use and improve their nutritional and environmental impacts. The tools include a series of health and sustainability indicators and labels and a menu design app.

19 July 2017

Birmingham researchers propose that the UK food labelling which currently is used on individual products should be expanded to the level of an entire supermarket receipt. The ‘traffic light system’ shows the total data for calories, sugar, fat and salt in a person’s shop and highlights the total in a green, amber or red colour.  

7 June 2017

An ad used by Arla Foods to promote their organic milk has been banned as it used the "misleading" claim that its production is "good for the land". 

7 June 2017

This report by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) presents both evidence and recommendations for European policy development on sustainable healthy diets. Starting with an overview of the health and environmental consequences of dietary habits this report moves on to present an analysis of individual and societal costs and benefits of implementing sustainable healthy diets, and a list of the European actors and institutions working on this issue. It also looks at evidence of progress from different European countries (FBDG Food Based Dietary Guidelines, Labeling, fiscal policy, procurement and other EU regional level initiatives).

7 March 2017

As Asda becomes the first UK retailer to sell ‘free range’ milk, the Pasture Promise logo will be placed on the milk packages, to ensure consumers that the cows grazed for 180 days and nights and farmers were offered fair price.

Photo credit: World Trade Organization, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
21 February 2017

In international trade agreements, restrictions on goods or demands for labelling which differ from country to country can be ‘barriers to trade’, effectively restricting the free movement of goods. Trade organisations which manage such agreements, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), have mechanisms in place to ensure that environmental or public health measures are not in fact ‘disguised restrictions on international trade’ which aim to protect national industries. Formal processes exist in the WTO to query public health and environment regulations for their ‘trade restrictiveness’, their necessity and the possibility of using alternatives.

8 February 2017

A new technology using a harmless laser beam can replace stickers on fresh food produce with a direct marking on the skin of a piece of fruit or vegetable. Named ‘Natural Branding’, the innovation could result in significant savings in sticker use as well as packaging. Nature and More, a Dutch organic food exporter, in collaboration with Swedish supermarket ICA is now using the branding on organic avocados and sweet potatoes.

3 February 2016

This report by The Food Foundation describes typical British family diets, their healthiness and environmental footprint, and in particular the social and economic drivers that influence typical food choices.

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