Restaurants: Carbon Emissions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th June 2021.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of encouraging or requiring restaurant chains to introduce information on the carbon cost of menu items.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The environmental impacts of food are complex, with the whole food chain having a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting both domestic and international climate targets. There are currently no legal requirements for UK restaurant chains to display information related to carbon emissions from food production on their menus. However, the Government is supportive of work being done in this area. Examples include Defra's funding of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (known as WRAP) to work across the supply chain to cut carbon and food waste in the sector by one fifth between 2015 and 2025.

The Government will continue to work with the hospitality industry to help it reduce its environmental impacts and provide this information clearly to consumers in an efficient manner, without creating unnecessary burdens that can result in increased prices for consumers.

Defra will investigate the opportunity to review aspects of food labelling following the outcomes of Henry Dimbleby's independent review of the food system, due this summer. The Government will respond to this with a Food Strategy White Paper within six months.

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