Within the past two years we have seen the appearance in Europe of the first animal feed products bearing a description of their carbon footprint.

The pioneers have since admitted that the response from customers has proved to be less than enthusiastic. In fact, the companies doubt now whether the money spent on developing the information and putting it on animal feed labels was justified in terms of a marketing advantage.

The regulators also have expressed certain doubts. These were summarized by a recent report for the European Parliament when it argued that some standardized calculations are needed for the carbon footprint of meat production systems in the EU-27 countries.

Otherwise, it said, in an unregulated marketplace there would be a major risk that some operators could make claims which acted to the detriment of competing products.