Title: ENVIFOOD Protocol: launch of the collectively-agreed sectorial methodology for assessing the environmental performance of food and drink products in Europe
Citation: 8th Int. Conference on LCA in the Agri-Food Sector, 1-4 Oct 2012 p. 37-40
Publisher: INRA
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC69154
ISBN: 978-2-7466-5740-3
URI: https://colloque4.inra.fr/lcafood2012/Proceedings
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The uncoordinated application of methodologies and guidelines for assessing and labeling the environmental performance of food and drink products has the potential to confuse consumers and other stakeholders involved in the food and drink supply chains. Furthermore, it poses an unnecessary burden on those organizations requested to evaluate the environmental performance of their product according to several different methodologies. In order to address this issue, business associations and other food supply chain partners have involved the European Commission in establishing the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Round Table. Since 2009, Round Table members have been working on equal footing on a commonly-agreed and science-based framework for assessment and communication of food and beverage products in Europe. The first milestone was reached in 2010 when Round Table members agreed on a set of principles to guide working groups in harmonizing relevant approaches for assessment and communication. On this basis, the Round Table working group 1 reached agreement on key methodological aspects for environmental assessment at a scientific workshop in 2010. A detailed analysis of relevant data, methodologies and guidelines for assessing the environmental performance of foods and drinks was conducted following the 2010 workshop. This analysis identified aspects of LCA practice where existing methodologies agree, as well as inconsistencies among existing approaches. A second scientific workshop was organized in 2011 to reach consensus on the outstanding inconsistencies. Remaining unresolved issues were further discussed within working group 1, leading up to the release of an advanced draft of what will be the future Round Table methodology for environmental assessment named ENVIFOOD Protocol. A public consultation scheduled during spring 2012 will be followed by the publication of the ENVIFOOD Protocol version 1 in summer 2012. In parallel to the version 1 development, the ENVIFOOD Protocol will be tested through a range of pilot studies and the feedback out of this task will be used for fine-tuning the guidance and coming out with the version 2. The ENVIFOOD Protocol provides guidance to support those environmental assessments of food and drink products in Europe conducted in the context of: • Business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer communication (focus of the Food RT Working Group 2); • The identification of environmental improvement options (focus of the Food RT Working Group 3). This paper gives a general overview of the ENVIFOOD Protocol in terms of scope, relationship with other methodologies and recommendations. In particular, recommendations on calculation rules, data, and impact assessment are presented and briefly discussed. Besides the general framework of the Protocol, this paper also illustrates the possible next steps of the Round Table working group 1. Round Table members are, in fact, discussing how to develop and adopt Product Category Rules (PCR) in line with the ENVIFOOD Protocol. In parallel, Round Table members are also discussing how to obtain adequate data for assessment and streamlined tools. The establishment of the ENVIFOOD Protocol and PCRs will allow the development of user-friendly and affordable tools for assessment and communication of environmental impacts, thus drastically alleviating SMEs from the disproportionate burden of such assessments.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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