Between Farms and Forks: Food Industry Perspectives on the Future of EU Food Labelling
25 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2023
This study assesses how information about environmental goods provision can contribute to an integrative food labelling framework within the European Unions’ Farm to Fork Strategy. By applying Q-methodology with 43 food industry experts from four European member states, we identify common viewpoints among processors, retailers and labelling organisations. There is large consensus among food industry actors across Germany, Poland, Spain, and Sweden for introducing new food labelling initiatives. Applying factor analysis and using the qualitative information from the 43 in-depth interviews, we derive three distinct prototypes on a future European food label: 1) a producer-driven Ecosystem Services label, 2) a consumer-oriented information label, and 3) a new EU sustainable food label. These label prototypes are partly country-specific and invoked by multiple stakeholder groups. We conclude that a future European Union food labelling framework must account for all three label prototypes. Policymakers are advised to embrace the diversity of viewpoints of food system actors, as these hold strong views on the driving factors of success and failure of labels.
Keywords: Ecosystem services, Farm to Fork, supply chain, Common Agricultural Policy, food labels, Q methodology, value chain
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