Netto tests climate labeling

Michael Løve. Photo: Miklos Szabo/Salling Group
"For a start, climate labeling will take place as a pilot test in one store in Copenhagen and one in Horsens," says Netto director Michael Løve.
By Reidar Molthe

12 April 2021 10:40

Netto tests climate labeling

As the first store chain in Denmark, Salling-owned Netto is now testing how climate labeling of grocery purchases can work. This is done in a pilot test in two selected stores, where signage and labeling of the products will guide customers to the less climate-damaging alternatives.

“Fortunately, many of our customers want to make a difference to the climate and our common future. It is therefore our responsibility, as a grocery store, to make it easier for our customers to choose items with lower climate footprints,” says Netto director Michael Løve in a press release.

Customers want help

Two out of three Danes would like to eat less meat and more vegetables, just as every third Dane expects to eat more climate-friendly within the next two years.

But many are asking for help and guidance because it is not easy to figure out what to buy if you want to take care of the climate through your shopping habits. This is the problem that Netto is now trying to address.

Specifically, the new scheme means that customers in the store are presented with new signs and marks on the shelves. As a customer, you can therefore see which products have a low climate footprint across all products in the store, and which have a low climate footprint within the individual product category.

At the same time, you are informed about the climate footprint of individual product types within fruit and vegetables as well as meat, fish and poultry.

Difficult choices and challenges

One potential obstacle is the credibility of the labeling. Calculating the environmental footprint is difficult and involves many choices and methodological challenges.

“We have tried to make a climate label that is simple to navigate. And that anyone who wants to act more climate-friendly and less climate-damaging can use. There is no doubt that it is complex, and it has unfortunately probably stood in the way of the good intentions of many,” says Løve.

Common climate label

From Netto and Salling Group's side, the ambition is that the pilot test can form the basis and contribute to a common climate label.

“In Netto, we hope that very soon we can come together on a common, national climate label across the entire grocery trade. Because we believe it can make a difference. But it does not exist yet, and therefore we have chosen to make a bid for a climate label, where we get some experience and push for development. It runs for a limited period, after which we will see how the customers receive the scheme, and we will share all the experiences we make so that we can take the next, common steps,” says Michael Løve.

Need sufficient data

Initially, the scheme will include the groceries that the average family buys the most from, and where experts have sufficient data to make sensible guidance. It includes, in the first instance: fruit and vegetables, cold cuts, cheese, pork, poultry, seafood, ready meals, dairy, nuts, seeds and kernels.

The scheme does not include products such as sweets, cake, energy drinks and alcohol.

Over the coming months, experiences, customer feedback and the actual purchasing patterns will be analyzed to see if climate labeling actually contributes to more climate-friendly purchases.

Environment more important

There is little doubt that the environment will count more and more for customers' shopping habits, not only in Denmark, but in all mature markets.

Ultimately, most of the environmental challenges we know are after all, due to consumption. Therefore, it is not just Netto that is excited about the results of the pilot test. Competitors and analysts are least as excited.

Sources: Netto, Salling Group, Retail News

More Food News