Milk production is responsible for 2.8 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions, according to government statistics.
Oatly, a Swedish food company that produces alternatives to dairy products from oats, is calling for ‘climate labelling’ on all food and drink sold in the UK.
The company wants greater transparency around the carbon footprint of Britain’s diet, particularly of dairy products.
To draw attention to their campaign, Oatly is offering free advertising space to dairy companies that agree to publish the full climate impact of their products.
Research reveals widespread public support for carbon labelling on food and drinks - particularly among young people.
Oatly gives free advertising to dairy products with ‘climate labelling’
Oatly is calling for all food and drink companies in the UK to follow its lead and publish the climate footprint of their products.
The company has been publishing the climate impact data of its products on-pack in the UK since 2019.
Oatly, which makes products like milk, yoghurt and frozen desserts using oats instead of cows’ milk, is calling on the dairy industry in particular to reveal its carbon footprint.
The production of milk contributes to 2.8 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions, according to government statistics.
To encourage the move to transparency, the company has bought up prominent billboard space that it is giving for free to ‘Big Dairy’ if they publish the full climate footprint of their products.
The campaign was sparked by a survey conducted by Oatly that found UK consumers strongly support the idea of carbon labelling on food and drink.
Nearly two-thirds said they were in favour of a policy to introduce carbon labelling on food/drink products and 55 per cent think companies should be obliged to publish that information.
Nearly 60 per cent would reduce or stop entirely consumption of high carbon footprint food and drink products, if provided with accurate emissions data.
Young people (aged 18-34) are particularly engaged and are more likely to change their consumption habits.
Oatly calls for mandatory climate labelling
Oatly is calling for mandatory climate labelling in a bid to help reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“Emissions from the food system, which currently equate to 35 per cent of total UK greenhouse gas emissions, must come down and changes to consumer choice are vital,” the company said in a statement.
“Dietary change can deliver environmental benefits on a scale not achievable by producers.”
The company notes that consumers are already given similar climate information elsewhere such as emissions data when buying a car or an energy rating on fridges.
“The same must logically apply to food and drink,” Oatly says.
It comes as the UK government creates the first Food Data Transparency Partnership with industry and experts to improve the environmental sustainability and healthiness of food and drink through better food data.
One proposed measure is to “establish a mandatory methodology for voluntary food eco-labels.”