New eco-score shows how environmentally damaging food is

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Several food actors in France, including Yuka and Open Food Facts, have launched an independent eco-score to raise consumers' awareness of the environmental impact of food products.

 

Score on 100

The new indicator has been worked on for two years by a collective of actors such as consumer apps (Yuka, Open Food Facts, Etiquettable), the online organic market La Fourche, meal deliverer FoodChéri and recipe site Marmiton.
 

"The new eco-score takes into account the analysis of the whole production lifecycle such as production, transport and manufacturing of packaging", Le Figaro quotes Shafik Asal, co-founder of Etiquettable. It is based on data from Agribalysis, produced by the French Environmental and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). Each product is thus given a score of 100, which is then weighted with "additional qualitative criteria" via a bonus-malus system, taking account of the recyclability of packaging, labels, country of origin, seasonality and so on.

 

Criticism

Quite a few environmental and consumer organisations objected to the system based on the production life cycle. In particular, it could favour the products of intensive agriculture, since the life cycle analysis would favour "the shortest and therefore most industrial production cycles". However, according to Shafik Asal, refinement through the bonus-malus system will favour organic or local products: "Beef from French cattle raised outdoors will get a better score than meat from their Brazilian counterparts who have never seen a pasture."