Originally, all food grown for human consumption was organic. Over time, much of the ”organic” element has disappeared and been replaced by other production methods, some of which have a negative impact on the environment. Consumer interest in organic products has, however, increased significantly, and many food producers and retailers are modifying their ranges in response.

ICA is adopting environmental labelling of products and shops

ICA has adopted environmental requirements for the eco-labelling of product groups.

ICA has adopted environmental requirements for the eco-labelling of product groups.

Sales of eco-labelled products are increasing in the Swedish ICA stores. ICA has adopted environmental requirements for its suppliers and is making a real effort to broaden its eco-labelled range. The organic ICA Ekologiskt range (which will now be renamed ”ICA I love you”) and various organic dairy products are responsible for the greatest increase in sales. The final result of the investment is that the overall environmental impact is reduced.It must be easy for purchasers and customers to understand product eco-labelling. ICA has adopted requirements for the eco-labelling of product groups which are subject to criteria in this area. Consequently, the eco-labelling of all washing detergents and general purpose cleaners, using either the Swan or Bra Miljöval labels, started many years ago. In ICA’s own-label cleaning product range, Skona, products which are subject to environmental criteria carry one of these labels.

Fish can be eco-labelled by the MSC, Marine Stewardship Council, and KRAV. ICA stocks a number of products which carry these labels. This means that the fish has been supplied by operators who have adopted the principles of sustainable fishing which protects the species and the environment in which it lives while, at the same time, permitting them to be exploited in a responsible manner.

ICA has started to Swan-label its shops, and in 2007, around 240 ICA shops had been approved in accordance with the criteria of the Swan eco label. The Swan labelling scheme includes requirements on eco-labelled product ranges, access to consumer information, sorting at source and controlled energy consumption.

This article was first published in Advantage Environment printed in February 2008