Swiss retail giant Migros has added a sustainability scale on private-label products to create transparency in the area of sustainability.
The feature, embedded on the packaging of products, evaluates the animal welfare and climate footprint of products, using a scale of one to five stars.
Under the motto ‘We are not 100% sustainable. But 100% transparent’, the retailer will evaluate all SKUs offered under its approximately 250 own-brand labels.
The sustainability scale offers clear information to customers about various sustainability parameters.
Marketing director at Migros, Matthias Wunderlin, said, “We also do not hide the negative sustainability aspects of a product. This enables us, on the one hand, to enable our customers to shop independently, and on the other hand, this complete transparency is also an incentive for Migros."
The Rating System
The sustainability scale works like a hotel rating system, with products receiving five stars considered very good.
If it only receives one star, there is a lot of room for improvement, the retailer noted.
The rating process for animal welfare involves assessing and evaluating up to ten different factors, including outdoor exercise, stable housing, the use of medication or transport.
The entire life cycle assessment of the product is included in the calculation of climate footprint, beginning with cultivation to the use of water and fertiliser, as well as transport and packaging.
The star rating is based on the entire Migros range. Therefore, a piece of beef never reaches more than one star in the climate scale because of the high greenhouse gas emissions involved in its production, compared to, say, a cucumber.
Thomas Vellacott, managing director of WWF Switzerland, said, "The WWF welcomes Migros' goal of creating more transparency in the area of sustainability for customers with the new M-Check.
"With this disclosure, it enables customers to shop more consciously, because a third of consumption-related environmental pollution in Europe is due to our food."
The evaluation system is based on scientific principles and developed by renowned partners for Migros, the retailer said.
Currently, more than 100 products already feature the new M-Check scale.
The retailer added that it plans to introduce a sustainability scale for animal products such as meat and milk soon.
By 2025, all Migros own brands, including the non-food sector, will feature the new M-Check scale, encompassing around 80% of the entire Migros range.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.