Milieu Centraal has included the 12 best quality marks in the Quality Mark Guide to help consumers shop more sustainably. In addition to old acquaintances such as MSC, Beter Leven and EU organic, newcomers such as the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) for rice, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for palm oil and Climate Neutral Certified for climate are making their appearance.
More and more consumers are asking critical questions about food labels. Consumers often do not know which claims on the packaging can be trusted. The quality mark guide shows what quality marks stand for. The most reliable and ambitious quality marks are given the designation ‘top quality mark.
Sustainable and healthy
The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is the subsidy provider for this research. Minister Henk Staghouwer: “It is important to me that consumers can easily make the right sustainable and healthy choices. So kudos to the top quality marks that help with this by being ambitious and transparent in aspects such as animal welfare and the environment. For consumers, the information is useful when they do their shopping, companies can use the information for the choices they make as a producer, purchaser or seller of food. This contributes to a sustainable food system.”
Top quality marks
“From coffee to chocolate, from dairy to fish, and from vegetables to eggs, there is a top quality mark for almost all groceries,” says Paulien van der Geest, sustainable food expert at Milieu Centraal. “When purchasing food, make sure that you choose a product with a top quality label. You can see what top quality marks are on keurenwijzer.nl.”
Climate impact of food
This year, Milieu Centraal is introducing the top label climate for the climate impact of food. There are quality marks that specifically focus on reducing the climate impact of food. In view of the urgency of the climate crisis, Milieu Centraal shows consumers on keurenwijzer.nl with a special label which quality mark is very ambitious in this regard. Van der Geest: “It would be really nice if there were one top quality mark that is sustainable in all areas. A quality mark that is top notch in terms of climate, the environment, animal welfare and fair trade.”
The 12 top quality marks according to Milieu Centraal:
- ASC for farmed fish
- Beter Leven Quality Mark (2 and 3 stars) for dairy, eggs and meat
- Demeter for biodynamic products
- EKO for organic products
- EU organic for organic products
- Fairtrade for tropical products
- MSC for wild fish
- On the way to PlanetProof for dairy, eggs, vegetables and fruit
- Rainforest Alliance (including UTZ) for tropical products
- Roundtable On Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for palm oil
- Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) for rice
- Climate Neutral Certified (especially for the climate impact of food)
Food label assessment
Milieu Centraal bases its assessment of quality marks on information that is publicly available online. For each product group, all food labels are measured against the same standard with regard to their reliability, transparency and ambition with regard to the sustainability aspects of the environment, animal welfare and people & work. Efforts for the climate are classified under the environment in the Keurmerkwijzer. The scores for individual logos are relative to the scores for other logos within one product group. In this way, logos within a group can easily be compared (benchmark). Logos are always assessed by two researchers from Milieu Centraal. An expert group carries out an additional assessment for food logos.