Food Product Environmental Footprint

With climate change, population growth, biodiversity lost and customers now demanding greater transparency the food industry is under pressure to provide food transparency while also optimising their resources and minimising their environmental impact. They need to do all this while still maintaining economic competitiveness for sustainable growth.

In 2013 the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission launched a pilot phase to provide end customers with reliable and comparable environmental information.

The 2013-2016 Environmental Footprint (EF) pilot phase has three main objectives:

  • Test the process for developing product - and sector-specific rules
  • Test different approaches to verification
  • Test communication vehicles for communicating life cycle environmental performance to business partners, consumers and other company stakeholders.

This is tested by groups of organisations called Technical Secretariats, who volunteered to develop the rules for their product or sector.

Several food industry sectors launched a pilot phase to draft the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR): beer, coffee, dairy, feed for food-producing animals, marine fish, meat (bovine, pigs, sheep), olive oil, packed water, pasta, pet food, and wine.

After three years of experimentation, consultation on draft final PEFCR for dairy and meat has opened and can be downloaded on the European Commission website.

Beyond the carbon footprint, those documents set up rules to assess both qualitatively and quantitatively significant environmental impact of dairy and meat industry, including water consumption/pollution and biodiversity.

The PEF programme is still in the early stages and it is a long way until every European grocery product is labelled with multiple environmental impacts, but this information could eventually become mandatory to access the market. NZ Food exporters should watch this space to keep on providing high value products that fulfill European market requirements and consumer demands. As such, some NZ organisations like Beef+Lamb NZ and Fonterra are on the boards of pilot projects Technical Secretariats.

If you want more information about the PEF programme and the Life Cycle methodology used to assess each product category, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you to benchmark your products alongside international competition.


Page 1 of 8  > >>

Aug 31, 2017

August 2017 Newsletter
View our August 2017 newsletter.

May 31, 2017

May 2017 Newsletter
View our May 2017 newsletter.

Apr 26, 2017

Export Regulations Compliance Workshop

About 15 regulatory managers from a wide range of sectors spent a stimulating morning sharing and learning about exporting regulations in the complex world of food.


Dec 16, 2016

Promoting healthy foods without falling foul of the Fair Trading Act

There is a real focus in the food industry on producing food that is enjoyable, convenient and healthy for consumers. It’s important to know how to promote healthy foods without falling foul of the Fair Trading Act. We recently worked with Viberi, a producer of New Zealand organic blackcurrant berries, on the labelling of their product.


Dec 14, 2016

When is a good idea a viable business opportunity?
We all have good ideas – but how do we know if they will make a viable business? This article explains what a feasibility study involves, and how one could help you assess the viability of your idea. Read more...

Dec 9, 2016

First Access Floor EPD in Australasia

Catalyst is excited to have worked with ASP Access Floors Pty Ltd to undertake a full life cycle assessment of its flooring system, gaining the first Environmental Product Declaration (EDP) for a flooring system in Australasia.


Dec 9, 2016

Catalyst team news

The Catalyst team has been busy, from participating in Climathon to working on agricultural aid in Pakistan and being invited to peer review country GHG inventories for the UNFCCC, this item will update you on what we’ve been up to.


Dec 9, 2016

Sustainability reporting for NZX listed companies

Sustainability reporting is encouraged, or mandatory, for listed companies on many overseas stock exchanges, and it looks like New Zealand will soon be following suit. We take a look at the state of play in NZ and what it means for listed companies in NZ.


Oct 3, 2016

Farewell to Malcolm

After 15 years with Catalyst Malcolm is moving to the Bay of Plenty and back to his roots in horticulture to take up a role as general manager with PlusGroup Horticulture.


Oct 3, 2016

Blackcurrants make Korean TV

Catalyst applied our food expertise to a unique project when a Korean television crew landed in New Zealand at short notice to make a programme about blackcurrants.

Subscribe to RSS

Join our newsletter

Click here to join our free, regular, electronic newsletter.

Read the News

Use the menu on the left to select the item of interest, or view the latest newsletter on the link below.

Last Newsletter

November 2017

Previous Newsletters

August 2017
May 2017
October 2016
July 2016
May 2016
April 2016
February 2016
Christmas 2015

News (7)