A new initiative to identify and quantify the product environmental footprint (PEF) is the three-year pilot program initiated in 2013 by the European Commission, in the context of the Single Market for Green Products project. Its purpose is to develop environmental performance standards which could lead to a common, voluntary eco-labelling standard and is intended to help companies develop more resource efficient processes and promote more sustainable consumption patterns, as well as lessen consumer confusion caused by too many eco-labels. The Program is open to both EU and non-EU stakeholders.
One section of this program focuses on 11 food products and agro industries, which are of interest to Latin American producers. This paper focuses on the rule-making process of the European Commission Environmental Footprint Pilot Program and the work of the public-private technical secretariats which are leading the Program, as well as on the participation of non-EU stakeholders, such as Latin American food exporters, which are bound to be affected by the new standards. It presents the experience of the public-private Latin American Coffee Environmental Footprint Network, created with the support of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to actively participate in the PEF process and underlines the importance of non-state actors for setting technical standards.