They have become a regular sight in supermarkets. Those meticulous shoppers who can be seen stooped over a packet, scouring the label for information that might persuade them to put it back on the shelf. Palm oil, perhaps. Sodium. Fat. Sugar. You may be one of those people yourself.

If you are, you’ll soon have even more data to digest. A trial of eco labels for food and drink products has begun in UK supermarkets, ahead of a planned rollout across Europe from 2022.

Under the system, products including meat and vegetables are graded on carbon emissions, biodiversity impact and water usage from farm to supermarket. Items are given a rating of A* to G, as well as a red, amber or green colour to denote whether they have a large, medium or small ecological footprint. Scores are based on the individual merit of a product, rather than a generic rating for a food type.

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