Tesco begins displaying carbon footprint on milk

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 19th August 2009

Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, has begun displaying a carbon footprint label on their full fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk ranges as part of the company’s groundbreaking work to include carbon labels on all their private label goods.

The retailer hopes to have the carbon footprint label on 500 products by the end of the year.

The move to carbon footprint comes on the back of new independent consumer research which found that 50 per cent of customers surveyed now understand the correct meaning of the term ‘carbon footprint’, compared to only 32 per cent of people surveyed in 2008.

The survey also revealed that customers increasingly want to be green. Over half said they that would seek lower carbon footprint products as part of their weekly shop, compared to only 35 per cent last year. They felt it was important to have the right information about the carbon impact of products to help them make informed choices.

“The pint of milk is an iconic part of British family life,” Tesco Community and Government Director, David North said. “So we’re using it to play an important new role in helping our customers understand climate change, the carbon footprints of products, and what steps they can take to help. Milk is not only one of the biggest sellers in store; it’s also prominent on breakfast tables day in day out across the country. So we think carbon labels on milk can play a great part in raising awareness and helping customers navigate the new carbon currency.”

“We are currently embarking on a number of research projects to reduce the carbon emissions from milk production,” Mr North added. “For example, we’re working on using different feeds that might help reduce methane emissions from cows, and encouraging the use of renewable energy on farms.”The launch comes as the world’s largest retailer – Walmart – looks to add an eco-rating on all grocery products in their store within the next decade.