Friday 07 October 2022

Consumers spend more money on food with a sustainability label

Photo: Depositphotos

Consumers are spending more money on food with some form of ‘sustainability’ label, and products which are said to be better for the planet accounted for 22% of turnover last year, national statistics agency CBS said on Monday.

In 2020, food with a label accounted for 19% of supermarket turnover and in 2013, just 8%, the CBS said.

Pork, fish, tea and eggs in particular were more likely to have a label, even though the percentage of sales down to ‘sustainable’ pork and eggs actually fell last year.

Beer and wine, non alcoholic drinks and cheese were least likely to comply with one of the many standards for more sustainable products currently in use. This is largely due to the lack of choice, the CBS said.

In total, consumers spent nearly €8 billion on more sustainable foodstuffs last year, a rise of 14% on 2020.

The research was carried out by the CBS and Wageningen University on behalf of the agriculture ministry.


Food quality certification is a growth industry in the Netherlands and experts have criticized the plethora of labels.

Non-profit organisation Milieu Centraal has devised a guide to help consumers navigate the certification jungle, and has assessed over 250 different labels in its Keurmerkwijzer.

The guide currently includes at least 12 labels for eggs and 19 for meat.

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