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Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

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March 01, 2018

Food Truthiness – Greenwashing in the Food Industry

“Is it local? Is it organic?” are questions increasingly asked by food consumers.  Many consumers’ food purchasing patterns are influenced by concerns about the environment, health, or animal wellbeing.  Studies show that consumers are often willing to pay a premium for food products that match their values; for example, that the food product is grown locally, organically, or produced in environmentally conscious ways.  How then can consumers trust that environmental representations food producers make about their products are true?

Canada has both federal and provincial laws that regulate food labelling and marketing.  Food producers must be aware of the laws and liability surrounding greenwashing of their environmental practices or the environmental benefits of their products.  Food industry participants who misrepresent their products can face significant prosecution, fines, and reputational damage.

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