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Do We Need an EU Ethical Food Label?

How a “Smart Mix” of Transparency and Regulation Can Protect Workers within the Agri-Food Sector
  • Date
  • September 2020
  • Authors
  • Giorgia Ceccarelli and Daniele Fattibene

Eradicating the exploitation of agri-food workers, promoting fairer food supply chains, and offering consumers effective tools to make truly informed food choices remain huge challenges in Europe.

This report highlights the limitations of relying solely on food labelling schemes to meet these goals, and finds that voluntary certification schemes do not adequately enforce regulations or protect human rights. The report also argues, however, that the EU can use a number of tools to foster more just food supply chains, with ethical labels playing a role in that process as part of a “smart mix” of measures.

The case studies in this report show that it is possible to have increased transparency in food labelling and supply chains, as well as better protections of workers in Europe and throughout the world. Additionally, the report explains how the EU can play an important role in providing food businesses with clear regulatory frameworks to ensure their operations do not harm workers or the environment.


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