Educate consumers about the sustainability of their food
The scientific indicators provided by AGRIBALYSE® are complex to interpret for users unfamiliar with the Life Cycle Assessment methodology. They are therefore not directly usable for communication with the general public, but they can be used within the framework of environmental labelling. An experiment is underway in France to test environmental display devices for the food sector, which notably incorporates AGRIBALYSE® data.
The AGRIBALYSE® data being based on "average consumed in France" products, and involving "proxies", it is advisable to be careful in the comparison of close products (eg barley and wheat, orange and grapefruit).
AGRIBALYSE® data is particularly suitable for consumer information on an aggregated scale (menus / meal tray / diet). They can be used for example for carrying out coupled environmental and nutritional analyzes in collective catering.
The use of AGRIBALYSE® data at the product level is more complex since at the food scale the AGRIBALYSE® data reflect an average standard reality, not allowing, used alone, to compare products of competing brands by example.
« AGRIBALYSE helps to build a common vision on environmental issues between professionals, consumers and actors of civil society. We regularly use this data; in particular, they enabled us to show that environmentally friendly and economically affordable food is possible. »Thomas Uthayakumar, Sustainable Food Systems Program Manager, WWF France
Studies about the calculation of environmental scores for environmental labeling are carried out outside the AGRIBALYSE program. These projcts indeed integrate parameters which go beyond the framework of Life Cycle Analyzes (politic and socioeconomic parameters).
An 18-month experiment, starting in February 2020 in France, carried out by the ministry in charge of ecology and whose coordination is entrusted by ADEME, should provide additional information on this subject. This experiment should, in particular, make it possible to collectively define the display methods and the associated indicators. In particular, it could test the possibilities of defining "hybrid" indicators based on both data from LCA (AGRIBALYSE® in particular) and indicators complementary to LCA indicators. This work should ensure the consistency of public policies and the contribution of the system to achieving France’s environmental objectives.