Court stops dairy producer from making net-zero claim

The Danish-Swedish dairy giant Arla Foods can no longer market its products with the expression “Net-zero climate footprint” according to a ruling by the Swedish Patent and Market Court on 2 February. This is in line with the approach used by the Swedish Consumer Agency, which filed the suit.

“The court does not believe that consumers understand that the company’s promise of net zero is based on climate-compensating activities that would only be able to offset the climate footprint that milk production gives rise to after 100 years,” writes the Swedish Consumer Agency in a press release.

It was in 2019 that the message “net-zero climate footprint” began to appear on the packaging in Arla’s organic range. Arla had for some time been experiencing strong competition from plant-based alternatives to milk and companies such as Oatly, who claimed that their products had a significantly lower climate footprint than milk.
Arla Foods chose to drop the claim completely back in spring 2022, saying that it “took the focus away from the farmers”. They later announced that they had stopped their climate offsetting work completely, since they were not allowed to use the expression.

Source: The Swedish Consumer Agency Press release, 2 February 2023
Swedish Radio, 21 November 2022


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