LIFE Food & Biodiversity – Biodiversity in standards and labels for the food industry
The aim of the European project Food & Biodiversity is to improve biodiversity protection in policy and criteria of food standards and sourcing requirements of food companies and retailers. Solagro is collaborating with six european partners.
The loss of biodiversity is one of the biggest challenges of our times. The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is not simply an environment issue but it is a key requirement for our nutrition, production processes, services and the overall quality of life. In combination with the agricultural sector, food producers and retailers have a great impact on biodiversity.
The main project objective is to improve the biodiversity performance of standards and labels within the food industry, a) by supporting standard-setting organizations to include efficient biodiversity criteria into their schemes; and b) by motivating food processing companies and retailers to include biodiversity criteria into their sourcing guidelines.
This is achieved through
- Trainings for certifiers and auditors as well as the responsible personnel in companies.
- Development and implementation of a universal monitoring-system for biodiversity.
- Dissemination of results and information to the food sector and standard-setting organizations.
Forty standards and food labels has been evaluated for their biodiversity criteria and a baseline report has been formulated. From this report, recommendations for the improvement of the criteria has been given. In addition, an "Easy Guide" has been published on biodiversity criteria in standards, labels and corporate guidelines.
With the help of a newly developed Biodiversity Performance Tool (BPT), protection on farms can be analysed. Through a pilot project involving farms in cereal cultivation (Germany), tomato cultivation (Spain), olive production (Spain), in grasslands used for meat production (Portugal) and grasslands used for milk production and dairy products (France), the BPT will be tested. The final version of the BPT will be made available for certifiers, assessors and product manager. They are also involved in a training program to strengthen their knowledge and expertise on biodiversity.
Finally, a monitoring-system and database tracking the biodiversity performance at farm level will be set up.
The project-results will be disseminated to standard-setting organizations, companies with own specific requirements, food processing companies, environmental organizations and authorities at the national and European level. Amongst other means, trade fairs and events will be used to further advocate the tool, and the need to set up biodiversity based monitoring systems.