Consumers play an increasingly more active role and want to know where the products they buy come from and how they are made. Labels can offer an answer to these pertinent questions.

Unfortunately, all kinds of labels, symbols and logos regarding health, quality, fair trade, safety… appear on the packaging. This can create ambiguity . Furthermore, not all labels are equally reliable.

In order to be reliable, a label must be more stringent than the legislation and an independent organisation needs to award and check it. In addition, it is also important that the criteria on which the label is based is accessible for everyone so that it is clear what the label stands for.

Examples of such reliable labels that we discuss further are:
• The European ecolabel for various products and services. The  secretariat of the ecolabel committee, which is based  at the FPS of Public Health, Safety of the Food Chain and Environment, is responsible for the awarding and the inspection of this European environmental label;
• FSC and PEFC: the two common labels for sustainably managed timber.

Obviously, there are a lot more environmental labels on the market. You can find more info in the section “Other labels”.