The launch of the Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative with leading members from the Association marks a new level of cooperation on this complex and technical subject within the fresh produce sector. With participating members from right across the supply chain from Europe and beyond, the Initiative will reflect the needs of the entire supply chain from producers to consumers.
The objective of the Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative is to develop an objective, standardized environmental footprint methodology, database and digital tool for the fresh produce sector that is broadly accepted by the industry, stakeholders as well as consumers. Until now efforts within the sector to address product sustainability through environmental footprint have been highly fragmented. Over the past year Freshfel Europe’s Working Group on Environmental Footprint has investigated individual efforts throughout the sector and further afield to best understand the sector landscape and where gaps in environmental footprint knowledge and tools lie. This has culminated in the launch of the Initiative with a group of leading sector members to develop a standardised environmental footprint methodology and digital tool from which the sector at large may benefit.
The Initiative will align with the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology as recommended by the EU. The PEF methodology is likely to be employed by the European Commission in upcoming legislation impacting the fresh produce sector on substantiating green claims and a harmonised EU sustainability labelling framework for food among others. Category rules specific to the fruit and vegetables sector will be developed ensuring comparable results of PEF calculations.
The initiative is a milestone in sector cooperation on sustainability matters. Freshfel Europe Director Sustainability and Health Nicola Pisano said: “Freshfel Europe with its extensive membership spanning the entire supply chain from producers to retailers is best placed to act as the platform for the Initiative’s work. The Association is facilitating collaboration between 14 of its leading members to develop an objective and standardised environmental footprint methodology and accompanying digital tool for the fresh produce sector at large.”