The CEO of Sweden’s leading organic label KRAV, Anita Falkenek, is urging the country’s supermarket chains to make it easier for shoppers to find organic products on shelves.
The call comes amid a recent decline in sales of organic products in Sweden (albeit from a comparatively high market share), as other ethical and eco labels – plant-based, local and Swedish among them – have been competing for consumers’ attention.
Writing in the Swedish trade magazine Dagligvarunytt (Grocery News), Falkenek picks up on a claim by one leading supermarket that nearly all the meat sold in its stores is Swedish. While acknowledging the country’s need to become more self-sufficient in meat production, she points out that when shoppers choose organic and KRAV-labelled, they get both Swedish and sustainable meat, adding that “all KRAV-labelled meat is Swedish”.
Falkenek says that a significant proportion of KRAV-labelled meat and milk is currently being sold as conventional, meaning that KRAV-certified farmers are not being paid for their extra work and additional costs. It’s a situation that is prompting some organic farmers to consider returning to conventional, with a resulting increase in pesticide use, lower biodiversity and increased climate impacts.
Falkenek says that a sharp rise in sustainability claims is confusing consumers. And she argues that “the most sustainable foods are the organic and KRAV-labeled ones”, an opinion that is shared by many expert groups, including WWF. Falkenek notes that in WWF’s guides on meat and fish, “Krav-labeled and organic foods are at the top, while only 1-3 percent of all meat sold in the grocery trade in Sweden gets the green light from WWF”.
Falkenek says retailers have a key role to play in the transition to increased sustainability in the food chain. Urging retailers to make organic more visible in store, she says: “If you help consumers find organic and Krav-labelled on store shelves, it will be easier for them to act more sustainably”.
Main image: KRAV-labelled products in store. KRAV.