It is now possible to discover the environmental impact of your plate thanks to the "AGRIBALYSE" platform, developed by Ademe and Inrae. At a time of consumer awareness of the environmental issues of food, the latter provides reference data for agricultural and food products through a database that takes into account different indicators (water, air, soil…) to improve practices.


Consumers are showing increasing expectations in terms of transparency about the products they consume. The Nutri-Score logo affixed to certain packaging, for example, improves the nutritional quality of their purchases. In a context of concern for public health but also for the sustainability of the planet, two agencies, Ademe (Environment and Energy Management Agency) and Inrae (National Research Institute for Agriculture , food and the environment), have developed the AGRIBALYSE database, which allows to know the environmental impact of a food product, from its agricultural production (fields) to its purchase or its preparation ( plate). This tool, available online, is made available to manufacturers, producers and also consumers.

AGRIBALYSE is presented as “the most comprehensive database for measuring the environmental impacts of food. »This provides reference data on the environmental impacts of agricultural and food products: it contains both data on raw agricultural products (beef, wheat, etc.) leaving the farm and on so-called processed products ( burger, baguette, etc.) ready to eat. Data collection takes into account 14 indicators for the entire life cycle of a product, including climate change, land use, consumption of water and non-renewable resources, and fossil fuels.

Discover the production cost of a food

For everyone, its use makes it possible to assess the impact of the food products consumed. But the two agencies above all hope that "AGRIBALYSE data must be able to help all agricultural sectors to improve production systems and reduce impacts, knowing that a quarter of the French carbon footprint comes from food. "The first desired objective is therefore that all stakeholders in agriculture and agrifood use this new tool to" implement an eco-design strategy to reduce the impact of their production "and also to communicate" on the reduction of their impact on consumers. "

A total of 200 agricultural products and 2,500 foods are already listed on the site. For the UFC-Que Choisir association, which welcomes the establishment of such a system, "the lower the overall score, the lower the environmental impact. On average, the most costly step in environmental terms is agricultural production, whether it is agricultural products or processed food. "For a chili con carne, for example, the most impactful step on the environment is by far the agricultural production of the different ingredients (94.2%). Another example: in a Margherita-type pizza, "mozzarella" cheese weighs more than a third of the impact of the ingredients.

In support of the experiment on environmental labeling

In addition, the platform makes it possible to compare raw and cooked foods, and to raise awareness of the cost of cooking. Thus, the environmental weight doubles between a raw carrot and a cooked carrot. For UFC-Que Choisir, it will therefore be possible "to compare two different meal trays in the canteen or to test eco-design ideas, such as changing the ingredients of a recipe or their production method, their packaging, etc. ... ”. Note that it is however not possible to compare two products on the shelf (such as two yogurts with different fruits) because the indicators are established by family of products and not by product and by brand unlike the Nutri-Score.

Likewise, animal welfare or fair trade are not taken into account. For the two agencies, it is nevertheless a first official step towards an “environmental display”. Because the government and Ademe have launched an experiment to test different environmental labeling devices on food products. The aim is to assess their effects on consumers' choices and to guide them towards more environmentally friendly food consumption. "These experiments could in particular be based on the AGRIBALYSE database, to know the environmental impact of different categories of products", they conclude.