Green claims: better methodologies to assess environmental performance of food & textiles products

BRUSSELS, 29 NOVEMBER 2022 – IFOAM Organics Europe welcomes news about the Commission’s decision to postpone the publication of the Substantiating Green Claim Directive. This will allow to re-evaluate the relevance of the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) such as the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology to assess “green claims” and measure the environmental impact of bio-sourced products such as food and textiles. 

Jan Plagge, IFOAM Organics Europe’s President, said: “Fighting greenwashing, providing meaningful information to consumers on the impact of the food products they buy, and incentivising producers to adopt truly sustainable practices, are essential to transition towards sustainable food systems. But these objectives cannot be achieved on the basis of the PEF methodology that disregards the use of pesticides and the impact of different production methods on biodiversity, also failing to consider the complexity of agri-food systems”. 

Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM Organics Europe’s Director comments: “The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methods are not designed to reflect the reality of complex agri-food systems in a multi-dimensional way. The PEF does not properly consider the use of inputs like pesticides, negative and positive externalities of different agriculture production methods on biodiversity, soil quality, deforestation nor planetary boundaries. IFOAM Organics Europe supports the idea of protecting consumers from deceiving green claims on food but believes this should be properly discussed. The impact of inputs used should be considered while providing meaningful information to consumers should be part of the assessment. 

Eric Gall, IFOAM Organics Europe’s Deputy Director, adds: “Different methodologies point towards different desirable futures for the agriculture and food sector, and this should be openly discussed. The EU needs an open debate on the best methodologies to provide detailed, fair, and unbiased information to consumers on the environmental impacts of different methods of production of agri-food products – at the same time considering the key concerns of European citizens and the priorities of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.” 


For more information please contact: 

Eric Gall, Deputy Director and Policy Manager 
Eva Berckmans, Communications Manager 
+32 2 416 27 62, [email protected] 
or visit www.organicseurope.bio 

PEF methodology's limitations for agri-food planet score food
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