Freshfel Europe developing state-of-the-art environmental footprint methodology for fresh produce

As part of the work of the Freshfel Environmental Footprint Initiative, Freshfel Europe is developing shadow Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for fruit and vegetables. The objective of the shadow PEFCR is to create a state-of-the-art, standardised environmental footprint methodology for the fresh produce sector.

COLEAD, through its Fit For Market SPS and Fit For Market+ programmes, is part of the Steering and Technical Committee representing the ACP in the development of the shadow PEFCR that will be applied to imports into Europe. COLEAD will seek to ensure that the interests of the private sector in ACP countries are well-represented in the further development of the PEFCR methodology.

To date, efforts within the fresh produce sector to address product sustainability through consideration of the environmental footprint have been highly fragmented. To address this, the shadow PEFCR will enhance benchmarking and comparison of the environmental footprint of products within the fresh produce category. This will improve sector transparency and accountability on environmental matters, and support communication on the strong positive environmental aspects of fresh produce consumption.

Fruit and vegetables are one of the most sustainable food categories. The shadow PEFCR methodology will help the sector better communicate this in the shift towards healthy, sustainable plant-based diets. The whole sector will benefit from the shadow PEFCR now and into the future.

Nicola Pisano, Freshfel Europe Director for Sustainability

The shadow PEFCR for fruit and vegetables will take two years to develop and will be open for public consultation twice during this period. Once developed, the shadow PEFCR for fruit and vegetables will be available for sector-wide use as an open resource.

An explanatory fact sheet on the shadow PEFCR for fruit and vegetables, Addressing sustainability in the fresh produce sector, is now available.

This activity is supported by the Fit For Market+ and Fit For Market SPS programmes, implemented by COLEAD within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union.