Environmental themes on ecolabels

G. R. de Snoo, G. W. J. van de Ven

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


A desk study on current market-oriented approaches promoting more sustainable agriculture compared organic farming (ERO), agro-ecolabelling (AMK), 'environmentally-aware cultivation' (MBT), Albert Heijn's controlled cultivation, Sainsbury's integrated crop management and the TNO label developed for the retailer A&P. The contribution of these to individual Dutch environmental policy themes was analysed. The results of an inventory for arable farming are presented, with special reference to the cultivation of ware potatoes. They show that all the labels include the themes of climate change, acidification, eutrophication and ecotoxicity. The themes of hydrological changes and habitat loss and fragmentation are scarcely taken into account in the Dutch labels. This implies that these labels do not guarantee that sustainable agriculture will be developed. However, the British retailer Sainsbury's does consider all the six topics explicitly. Although both the environment and biodiversity will benefit from a reduction of pollutant emissions, the labels do not assess the actual effect of the criteria, as there is no analytical framework for transforming the present ecolabels into manageable and effective instruments to achieve sustainable agriculture. Several criteria are proposed for use in market-oriented tools aiming to enhance biodiversity. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • biodiversity agriculture ecolabelling environmental management potato Environmental Sciences & Ecology Geography Physical Geography Public Administration Urban Studies


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