The organic movement applauded the EU’s move to stress the limitations of the Product Environmental Footprint during the latest vote on green claims

IFOAM Organics Europe expressed its welcome for this week’s EU vote on green claims, which highlighted the limitations of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology for some product categories including organic.


The organic movement had last month warned members of the European Parliament negotiating amendments on the proposed Green Claims Directive about the shortcomings of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) as a reference tool.

“Both the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and the one on the Internal Market and Consumers Protection (IMCO) confirmed these limitations,” IFOAM stated in a press release, “already highlighted in the Commission proposal.”

Jan Plagge, president of IFOAM Organics Europe, commented: “The agri-food sector is a complex one and the PEF yields counterproductive results for agri-food products. So, we welcome the Directive’s approach, which favours flexibility in the environmental assessment methodologies for agri-food.

“As IFOAM Organics Europe, we have long advocated for a more inclusive approach to evaluating environmental claims, one that goes beyond the PEF to reflect the comprehensive impacts of food production, positive and negative externalities alike.” 

However, Eduardo Cuoco, director of IFOAM Organics Europe, added a caveat. “While we welcome that organic products are exempted from the green claims Directive’s requirements given their proven environmental benefits,” he said, “we regret that the same is not true for private organic standards that go beyond the EU Organic Regulation – both in terms of requirements as well as in terms of environmental benefits.” 

IFOAM Organics Europe said it looked forward to continuing to work with EU policymakers to ensure legislation governing green claims “truly represents the environmental benefits of organic and other agroecological farming practices”.