As many other organisations and individuals. we at Map Your Meal would like to see a world where food is sustainably produced, healthy for people and planet and traded fairly. Hence, the idea of having an App that puts together different data about current food systems to generate a picture that can stimulate reflection on ethics behind our food and trend ethical dimension of food production into the mainstream. We believe that being informed is a good first step to think about our own attitudes and behaviours, and to start imagining the desirable futures and maybe even take action to make it happen. As research from countries engaged in the Map Your Meal project show, ethics matter to a considerable number of consumers. Food and drink producers, who can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and equity, and furthermore can demonstrate that ethics are already ingrained in their sourcing policies, working practices etc., have more appeal to customers. Our approach is then to show the positive, to reward the efforts of companies to run their business ethically and to inform consumers about their consideration for ethical conduct. We hope that this approach can contribute to encouraging manufacturers and retailers to promote further the idea that ethics in food matters and that we might have our share in increasing business competition to drive up standards and mainstream ethics and concern for sustainability in their operations. We hope that our project can lead to prioritizing information about ethical issues. We know it is possible, as there are an impressive number of production companies and retailers who understand that problem and appreciate the importance of the information about their sourcing policies or environmental impacts.
Our current choice of data and indicators is primarily based on information that is already available on product packaging as this is what average consumers have access to/and rely on when shopping. In this approach we are inspired by the European Food Information Council analysis which states that both manufacturers and consumers alike rely heavily on labels for information on health and safety http://www.eufic.org/article/en/artid/labels-consumer-choice/. This means that they could also rely on labelling for information on social and environmental issues. In addition to that, the extent to which all of these indicators are interconnected in means that it is impossible to consider them separately, and that it has been necessary to adopt a particular mechanism to categorising them. However, we recognize that this categorization is provisional and serves a particular purpose of making the landscape easier to navigate. You can read the details and reasons for omitting/choosing a certain aspect and indicator in our methodology. Hence, neither our Greenness nor Fairness scoring can be treated as a factual conclusion. We most certainly don’t intend to advise you what to buy and what not to buy. We want to raise awareness and interest in our food that may result in companies rethinking their policies and consumers in changing of consumption patterns or rethinking their connections with food and people who produce it or a critique on values informing consumerism culture. For more information, visit www.mapyourmeal.org
This app has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this application are the sole responsibility of the Map Your Meal consortium and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.
© Future Worlds Center/ Map Your Meal Project Consortium