First in Asia: Philippines to adopt Ecolabel Criteria on Food Services
Development Process of ecolabelling criteria for Food Services
The National Ecolabelling Programme – Green Choice Philippines (NELP – GCP) Board led by DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards and DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau finally approved the eco-labelling criteria for food services last May 9, 2013 at the 21st NELP-GCP Board Meeting held at DTI, Makati City. This is the first ecolabelling criteria that would be adopted for food services in an Asian country, and the Philippines will soon serve as the model for certified green restaurants in the region.
Spending 2 years on the development process by different food and environment experts, the new criteria included 4 major considerations: 1) food safety, 2) food nutrition, 3) resource efficiency and 4) waste management. This certification has a three-level standard category for which food businesses can apply: 1) one-star level for minimum compliance to the ecolabelling standards 2) two-star level for additional criteria compliance and 3) three-star level for maximum compliance to all criteria considerations.
Food services that include fast food outlets, fine-dining and casual dining restaurants, canteens, cafeterias and catering services can now apply for the Green Choice Philippines Seal of Approval on environmental and safety leadership.
Many research studies reveal that food services, especially the fast food restaurants, are major contributors of food-borne diseases, high energy consumption and dumping of wastes, so the compliance of these business establishments to the Green Choice Philippines criteria can well assure Filipino consumers of its high food safety, nutritional and environmental standards.
NELP-GCP is a voluntary, multiple criteria-based, and third party certification government programme that aims to encourage clean manufacturing and business practices and the buying of eco-friendly products and services. It is administered by the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc (PCEPSDI) under the guidance of DTI, DENR, DOE, DBM, the Presidential Management Staff, DOST, Development Academy of the Philippines and other environmental and consumer groups.