What is good for you is it good for the Earth too?

What is good for you is it good for the Earth too?

From 1 July 2010 the new EU organic logo, called 'Euro leaf', is affixed to all organic food packaging produced in the Europe. The EU's logo aims to define exactly what organic is, and it is strictly regulated by two European Commission Regulation  (the EC Regulation n. 834/07 and the EC Regulation no. 889/08).

According to this regulation, if the food is processed, the logo means that at least 95 percent of the ingredients used are organic. Next to the logo is also a code representing the number of the control and information about where the raw materials in the product have been farmed. In the Euro leaf the stars symbol of the EU trace the contour of a leaf on a green background, so the logo transmits two strong messages: nature and Europe. The labelling of organic food has always been a source of confusion; however, this logo has been introduced to make it easier for European consumers to identify ‘organic’ products.

Furthermore, legislation on environmental protection is becoming more and more stringent, and public attention is growing from this issue. In fact, the interest in sustainability and sustainable development has been known an unprecedented increase in recent decades. In this scenery where consumers seem to be careful but confused and where businesses use the lever of sustainability in their marketing policies in a growing way, eco-labels play a decisive role.

However, orientation towards sustainability means that companies are rethinking production and management processes, in terms of energy saving, rationalization in materials use, or waste reduction, and so on. These initiatives are a source of competitive advantage, thanks to the reduction in the cost of investment operations. Another type of competitive advantage, deriving from sustainability, is identified in the improvement of corporate and brand image. It is appropriate to point out that customers could establish a relationship with eco-labels analogous to what is traditionally established with brands. Especially this eco-label could be a warranty in the process of purchasing reduced products environmental impact. From a business point of view, the use of these certifications, the use of Euro leaf, can be a valid way to demonstrate, to the stakeholders, the concrete contribution to sustainable development and thus, to be a source of competitive advantage. For these reasons, many companies are adopting the Euro leaf to convey their sustainable message.

Recently, one of most interesting initiatives is the one promoted by Barilla, the company is a leader in the agri-food market in Italy and the rest of the world. Already in 2016, Barilla had launched organic pasta in the United States and other European countries (e.g. Norway, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Greece, Finland, Sweden). This year, the company, in its 140 years, launched the new proposal with the Euro-leaf on the Italian market.

“Today, the protection of the environment is increasingly influenced by purchasing and consumption choices: in Europe, the pasta market has a value of 100 million euros,” says a company note.

Anyway, Barilla's sustainable strategy is not limited to the adoption of the Euro leaf. The company has in fact launched a campaign titled "Good for You, Good for the Planet". As you can read from the official website, the campaign is the strategy adopted by Barilla to give its contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations.

Author: Rosamartina Schena (LUM University)