Finland-based food group Raisio has added a H2O label to its Elovena oat flakes, indicating the amount of water used in making the product.

The label is designed to indicate the product’s water footprint throughout the production chain – “from the field to the ready, packaged product”, the company said today (15 April).

The footprint includes the water that the plant uses for growth, the water used in production and the resulting wastewater.

“Consumers are showing increasing interest in the impact that their consumption habits have on the climate change and the environment,” said Matti Rihko, Raisio’s CEO. “If consumers find that the label gives them the information they need for consumption choices, Raisio will add the label to other products as well.”

The total water consumption of the company’s Elovena oat flakes is 101 litres per 100 grams of the product, while that of beef is 1,600 litres per 100 grams of meat, Raisio said.

The group said it is the “world’s first food company” to add an H2O label to product packaging, and that it devised its own calculation model, as no internationally established formula and product labelling existed.

The calculations for primary production are based on evaporation data from the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s weather observation stations, the water consumed in oat cultivation and the three-year averages for oat crops supplied by Raisio’s contract farmers.