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Combining Policy Instruments

The characteristics of shifts to sustainability in the food sector differ from the key drivers for other goods and services. Concern for animal welfare is behind the trend to dolphin-friendly tuna and free range eggs, while concern for human welfare as well as environment has prompted purchases of Fairtrade and Rainforest goods. Low-cost certification methods and labelling schemes that appeal to health and welfare are promoting more sustainable choices in these areas. However, some governments reinforce these instruments by providing financial support and mounting communications campaigns for Fairtrade and other labelling promotions. Promoting healthy diets may also require a combination of standards, labelling and communications campaigns. Concern for personal health has led to demands for labelling on the nutrition and fat content of food, and some countries are experimenting with simplified “traffic lights” nutrient labelling, which indicates fat, sugar and salt content. However, where significant price differences remain, labelling is generally not sufficient (as in the case of many organic products) and standards may be needed. Tourism Promoting sustainable leisure and vacation choices may depend on more than one policy tool owing to good consumer intentions combined with labelling confusion and lack of awareness. The Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Tourism, led by France, is examining a package of measures including communications campaigns and labelling, certification and verification of sustainable destinations and tours, fines for unsustainable activities, and subsidies for sustainable energy, wastewater and waste treatment as well as recyclable buildings in tourism locales.