The Market Advisory Council (MAC) delivered recommendations to the European Commission on the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for Marine Fish Products for Human Consumption. PEFCR is a policy initiative that aims at substantiating environmental claims made by companies on their products and services. The environmental footprint of the unprocessed marine fish products will be determined through Life Cycle Assessment methods. According to MAC members:
- Policy coherence is needed with other EU policy initiatives affecting the communication on sustainability information to consumers (the revision of the marketing standards framework, the revision of the rules on food information to consumers, and the development of the sustainable food system framework).
- Communication via this method should remain voluntary due to the inherent complexity and the lack of scientific consensus on a method or criteria to quantify biodiversity impacts communication.
- More information is needed on the long-term use of the Product Environmental Footprint method and the development of further rules (e.g., freshwater fisheries, farmed products, molluscs, processed fish).
- Other options should be considered to substantiate green claims.
Benoît Thomassen, Chair of Working Group 3 (Sanitary & Consumer Issues), highlighted: “In the context of the ongoing transition to a greener economy, communication on environmental performance is a fundamental concern in the market of fishery and aquaculture products. For our members, clear and harmonised communication to consumers is a common priority”.
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