Biodiversity in Standards and Labels for the Food Industry
The main objective of
the EU-wide project "Biodiversity in Standards and Labels for the Food
Industry” is to improve the biodiversity performance of standards and labels within
the food industry by a) supporting standard-setting organizations to include
efficient biodiversity criteria into their schemes; and b) motivating food
processing companies and retailers to include biodiversity criteria into their
This is achieved through
- Trainings for certifiers and auditors
as well as the responsible personnel in companies.
- Development and implementation of a
universal monitoring system for biodiversity.
- Dissemination of results and
information to the food sector and standard-setting organizations.
European-wide initiative on "Biodiversity in Standards and Labels of the Food
Sector” will continue working on the topic even after this project ends in 2020.
Actions and means
Forty standards and food labels will be evaluated for their
biodiversity criteria and a baseline
will be formulated. The report will be discussed with different
actors of the food business and recommendations
for the improvement of the criteria
will be given. Interested standards
organizations and companies will be advised in the revision of their criteria. In
addition, an "Easy Guide" will be published on biodiversity criteria
in standards, labels and corporate guidelines in Spanish, French, Portuguese,
English and German.
With the help of a newly developed Biodiversity Performance Tool (BPT)
, the current situation and the
further development for biodiversity protection on farms will be analyzed.
Through a pilot project involving farms in cereal cultivation (Germany), tomato
cultivation (Spain), olive production (Spain), in grasslands used for meat
production (Portugal) and grasslands used for milk production and dairy
products (France), the BPT will be tested. The final version of the BPT will be
made available for certifiers, assessors
and product managers
. They will also be involved in a training program
to strengthen their knowledge and expertise on
a monitoring-system and database
the biodiversity performance at farm level will be set up. Standard-setting and
label organizations will be informed and invited to join the common monitoring
approach. Using this database, standard-setting organizations and companies
will be able to monitor the positive effects and improve upon their criteria
and measures. Agreements will be made with standard-setting organizations and
implement the monitoring system.
sector specific initiative called "Biodiversity
Performance in the Food Sector”
will be created until 2020. The aim of this
initiative is to raise the biodiversity performance by using commonly accepted
and implemented priority criteria for biodiversity within the whole food
sector.This initiative will help facilitate regular exchange among
representatives from the food industry,standard-setting organizations and other
stakeholders. The monitoring system will be eventually handed over to the
coordinators of the Biodiversity Performance Initiative.
Conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity is not simply an environmental issue but it is a key requirement
for our nutrition, production processes, services and the overall quality of
life. In combination with the agricultural sector, food producers and retailers
have a great impact on biodiversity. Unfortunately, biodiversity protection
does not lie in their main interests yet. In general, the interactions between
human activity and biodiversity are complex. And due to this complexity,
reducing negative effects on nature in the complete supply chain of a food
product - from the field to the shelf - poses a challenge.
The environmental foundations Global Nature
Fund and Lake Constance Foundation analyzed 19 standards and labels in the food
sector. The results show a clear need for action. So far, biodiversity related
criteria rarely go beyond the common approach of good agricultural practices;
they are often unclear in their formulation and take into account the causes of
biodiversity loss only partially. Often, auditors and certification companies
do not have the necessary knowledge needed to classify and supervise the
measures taken for biodiversity protection. Plus none of the analyzed standards
monitor the effect of their measures.
Kaiser-Friedrich Str. 11
Global Nature Fund - Office Bonn
Phone: +49 - (0) 228 - 184 86 94 – 11
by the EU LIFE Program