Eco-labeling criteria for food services will soon be available locally
- Danielle Venz () - September 5, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  Filipino consumers could soon dine in environment-friendly restaurants and other establishments offering healthy foods without worrying about their safety.

This, as the country is developing the eco-labeling criteria for food services. This initiative is part of the implementation of the eco-labeling program or the Green Choice Philippines (GCP) designed to encourage businesses to adopt processes and supply environmentally-sound products and services.

Juan Miguel Cuna, director of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said the scope of food services include bakeshops with dining; quick service restaurants; catering services, canteen and cafeterias; and fine dining restaurants.

Cuna said there are various health and environmental considerations in the establishment of environmental criteria for food services. These are food safety management, nutrition quality management, resources management, and waste and pollution control.

He said the working group composed of government and non-government entities are also considering the adoption of existing international standards and policies under the food safety management criteria.

These standards and policies include the Codex Alimentarius, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system and current good manufacturing practices (GMPs).

Cuna said such standards would serve as a basis for awarding the Green Choice seal of approval to environmentally-preferable food services.

“If a particular establishment is given the Green Choice award for the eco-labeling, this will not end here. The technical working group is coming out with an audit system to ensure that establishments continue to abide by all the laws and criteria for which they are given the seal of approval,” he explained.

With this, Cuna encouraged food service owners to participate in the eco-labeling program and promote food safety and health practices.

He said this would also address top concerns of consumers — the source and nutritional value of food and food preparation.

“I think the food service establishments should be the catalysts for this endeavor. They should not view it as the government or the society watching them. It should enhance their credibility and image and that should be the mindset,” he added. 

Aside from the Philippines, more than 20 other countries are also implementing eco-labeling as a business strategy for marketing products and services.

There are already 26 products that have been awarded the Green Choice award. These vary from school and office supplies and equipment, construction materials and housekeeping supply, among others.

The National Eco-labeling Programme-Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP) is a voluntary third-party environmental declaration based on ISO 14024 which is type 1 of the environmental labeling or eco-labeling. – Philexport News and Features

CODEX ALIMENTARIUS CUNA ECO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES FOOD GREEN CHOICE GREEN CHOICE PHILIPPINES JUAN MIGUEL CUNA LABELING NATIONAL ECO PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES
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