AB Agri welcomes guidance on transparency around environmental claims

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As a responsible business, we welcome the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) publication of guidance on environmental claims on goods and services. The guide is designed to help businesses comply with consumer protection law obligations and, while it has a UK focus, we believe many of the lessons are transferable to our markets across the world. 

The key principles of the guidance, which apply to business-to-business, as well as business-to-consumer activities, are that: 

  • claims must be truthful and accurate
  • claims must be clear and unambiguous
  • claims must not omit or hide important relevant information
  • comparisons must be fair and meaningful
  • claims must consider the full life cycle of the product or service
  • claims must be substantiated

The main focus of the ‘Green Claims Code’ surrounds environmental claims that a business may make to promote their goods, services, processes or brands, but they should also have regard to this guidance when making any sustainability claims. It is part of a wider awareness campaign that the CMA has launched today ahead of COP26.

Angela Booth, our Responsibility Director, said: “Ultimately, this is about giving consumers absolute confidence that what they buy really does live up to the claims made. It is easy to make assertions about environmental performance, but anything that doesn’t have the evidence to back it up, or strays from the truth, whether accidentally or on purpose as ‘greenwashing’, can have a hugely detrimental impact on customer confidence and the industry. 

“We need to think hard about how these principles apply to our industry and be prepared to challenge ourselves where we believe more must be done. The only way to be sure that the environmental claims we make as an industry stand up to scrutiny is through robust and consistent use of evidence. We shouldn’t claim anything we can't substantiate. With services such as AB Vista’s Emissions Reporting Service now available and increasing use of the GFLI dataset worldwide, there has never been a better time for us as an industry to deliver clarity for consumers and demonstrate our industry-wide commitment to responsible agriculture.”

To read the guidance, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/greenwashing-cma-puts-businesses-on-notice