Carbon footprinting remains focus for bakery industry suppliers

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, Sustainability, Baking

Evaluating ways of how to achieve sustainable consumption and production is the focus of the annual meeting of bakery industry suppliers trade group Fedima, which takes place in Barcelona this week.

The industry representative body said it will be outlining the progress it has made in the development of guidance on a common methodology to calculate the carbon emission of baked goods.

Making environmental footprinting a priority is particularly challenging for the sector, with bakery products containing a wide spectrum of ingredients from different origins.

Jean Christophe Kremer, secretary general of Fedima, speaking to today, said that the process of carbon footprint analysis for bread and patisserie products is only just starting. But he stressed that there is a willingness on the ground to achieve a workable model that will ensure fair competition at the retail level.

He said Fedima anticipates that the sharing of expertise at the AGM by representatives of the European Commission, the SCP Food Roundtable and government funded low carbon advocates - the UK’s Carbon Trust - will help its membership identify the opportunities and barriers that may further or hinder greener production.

According to Kremer, the trade group also hopes to finalise the draft of its aspiration paper on environmental sustainability. The secretary general of the trade group said it was aiming to model the paper on the Five-fold Environmental Ambition programme of the the UK's Food and Drink Federation.

“We realise that we need to involve all stakeholders in the bakery chain from finished good manufacturers to millers in the project but the primary objective of Friday’s workshop is to define our goals and set criteria before engaging with other players in the sector​,” stressed Kremer.

The push to discourage the use of additives that are not approved for use in the EU or by Codex Alimentarius will remain on the agenda, he continued, with feedback sought from its members on a Fedima draft position document on the issue.

The meeting, added Kremer, will also be analysing the recent introduction of the Fedima incident management system, which the trade group established following the discovery of an unapproved genetically modified flax/linseed variety FP967 (CDC Triffid) in cereal and bakery products in over 30 countries in 2009.

Other topics up for discussion include the need to improve the quality of data available on consumption patterns for bread and pastry throughout Europe to inform future education initiatives aimed at the promotion of bread in member states.

“We are collaborating with partners in the bakery chain to fund these bread consumption campaigns but a lack of reliable statistics on trends in bread eating in the bloc means it is difficult to determine how to move campaigns forward in the various member states,”​ explained Kremer, who hopes input from market analysts Datamonitor at the AGM will help direct future programmes.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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