Regional products: where do they actually come from?
Most consumers value what is in food and where it comes from. The products are often said to be organic. They should also come from the region. But when is goods “regional”? So far there is no clear definition of this.
Environmental protection must not be neglected
It is important to many people to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Environmental protection should not be neglected either. According to experts, it is also very easy to eat environmentally friendly if some rules are followed. One of them is that the food should have been produced in the vicinity, as this avoids long transport routes. However, the term "regional" on food does not make it clear whether the products actually come from the surrounding area.
Not a 100% guarantee
Consumers are often unsure of how reliable food labels really are. One should think that an "eco" seal indicates that the environment is protected, "organic" is healthier and "regional" emphasizes that the products come from nearby. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Such labels do not necessarily give consumers a 100% guarantee.
Three quarters of consumers value regional goods
According to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, 76 percent of all consumers value regional products, reports Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). But what does regional mean?
A survey by the WDR consumer and advice magazine Servicezeit with consumers revealed that there can be a maximum of 49 kilometers between the supermarket and the manufacturer.
The employees of the magazine show then bought 17 groceries in three supermarkets and three discounters and published what they said were not representative findings.
Discounters only little emphasize regional products
According to this, only five of the groceries came from within a radius of less than 49 kilometers, another four had traveled less than 100 kilometers and the rest of them were significantly above them - including marshmallows from the USA.
According to the WDR, supermarkets fundamentally advertise much more with regional products than the competition of discounters. According to the information, Rewe makes the most transparent impression. Already in the entrance area the producers are named with their names and addresses. Edeka also clearly emphasizes the regional products. Discounters like Aldi, Lidl or Netto tend not to do this.
Hundreds of kilometers from the place of manufacture
As the WDR explains, a lot is advertised with the term "regional", but there is no uniform definition that manufacturers and marketers must adhere to. So consumers have to compare product by product where the food was produced.
Wiesenhof poultry was one of two products that attracted very negative attention. This was advertised with the imprint of regional farms, even though the net market was 310 kilometers away from the producer.
And Voelkel's “domestic multi” vitamin juice was sold 400 kilometers from the production site.
Clear information on food
Only the "Regional" label, which was commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, provides reliable information about the state and location of the food. However, the label is not very widespread.
Consumer advocates have been demanding clear information on food for years. For many, it is particularly important to clarify what is really behind the seals of quality such as “organic” and the like. (ad)