Testimonial: the win-win partnership between myLabel and Open Food Facts!

Testimonial: the win-win partnership between myLabel and Open Food Facts!

Open Food Facts is a non-profit organisation that works for food transparency. But not only that!

It is also the largest open source food database in the world! 🌍 (yep!)

As an open database, operating under an ODbL (Open Database Licence), we allow different stakeholders to access and reuse the data for various projects. Whether it is for research, benchmarking to build a better product portfolio or for purely informational purposes, all actors wishing to make use of this data can do so. Provided that the 3 conditions of the ODbL are respected. 

Today, we wanted to highlight one of the applications that re-use our data that we have had the pleasure of working with for several years: myLabel, the application that deciphers your food! 👀

A big thank you to Loïc Tanant, co-founder & communications director, for this testimonial 😊

Testimonial 🎙️

What is the purpose of your app “myLabel”?

We started from the observation that consumers do not have access to the social and environmental impact of the food they consume. To give them the means to act on their consumption by taking these impacts into account, we evaluate products thanks to the analyses and expertise of associations and NGOs working for healthier and more sustainable food.
The evaluations are accessible in our free application and can be customised according to eco-responsible criteria: animal welfare, deforestation, biodiversity, climate impact, pesticides, working conditions, greenwashing and ethical practices or the fight against inequalities and fair pay… More than 20 criteria are analysed on nearly 1 million products.
Citizens can decipher products according to their values, by obtaining accessible information when they scan a product, and sort out what is greenwashing and what is real commitment of the brands.
myLabel allows associations and NGOs to increase their impact by giving them the means to reach consumers when they have a product in hand.
We have also worked with engineers from the Institut National de la Consommation and experts from CRÉDOC to personalise the nutritional deciphering of foods. Each user has the possibility, when he scans a product, to have a personalised nutritional indicator taking into account his sex, his age and the average portion consumed by the French. Each person can thus find a choice among their daily products thanks to nutritional information adapted to what they realistically consume and to their personalised needs.

What is the story behind myLabel?

The starting point came from Christophe Hurbin, today president of myLabel, who had the chance, as a space engineer, to see the Earth “from space”, with its riches and its fragilities, which left a lasting impression on him. Then he managed a very large factory in France where the challenge was to innovate on the environmental impact and working conditions. But these aspects were not visible to consumers, who made no difference to a competing product made under unacceptable conditions.

This is how the idea of myLabel was born: to make information and an evaluation of products according to social, environmental and health criteria available at the time of purchase. We have chosen to rely on trusted third parties that are trusted by consumers: a network of associations, NGOs and independent committed actors ready to share their expertise. After a pilot application with 1,000 test users, we launched myLabel in April 2019.

The aim of myLabel is to enable consumers – especially the most disadvantaged in terms of information or budget – to better understand the impact of their consumption on the environment and their well-being, and to find alternatives that are acceptable to them. We have written this desire into our company statutes and obtained ESUS (Entreprise Solidaire d’Utilité Sociale) approval.

France is a pioneer country in terms of product information sharing,
notably thanks to Open Food Facts.
This is one of the reasons why we decided to launch myLabel in France first.

How and why do you use Open Food Facts?

From the very first thoughts on myLabel, we identified the richness of Open Food Facts, and how much this collaborative project can foster the launch of other projects using its data. We met Stéphane Gigandet, its founder, in 2016 and we decided to cooperate with Open Food Facts from the very first meeting 😉. 

We import Open Food Facts product sheets into our own database, and in return, we feed back a huge number of product changes or additions to the Open Food Facts database. We believe that open data makes a lot of sense for “public” information like product labels.

How would you describe your experience in terms of data reuse?

When we started our project, it was not so easy to access documentation,
but the community was always there and helpful.
And today we can see that the documentation has improved a lot.

What do you think is the most effective lever for food transparency?

If everyone, including brands, manufacturers and retailers, play their part by sharing product data, the better the independent assessments, the better the choices consumers can make and the more successful the transition to a more sustainable diet. 

What makes Open Food Facts special to you?

The team!!! There is a great quality of relationships.
We are also totally aligned with the goals of Open Food Facts,
which is very important.
The community of contributors also allows us to discover interesting, even unexpected products that myLabel users can find in the alternatives they discover in the myLabel app.

So… You a re-user, but also a contributor? Tell us about it 🧐

We share with Open Food Facts the same desire to empower consumers, brands and retailers to make a successful transition to healthier and more sustainable food, and this collaborative database contributes to that.

It is important for us to enrich it and to ensure that it is increasingly complete and reliable.
When we work with labels, marketplaces or producers, especially foodtech startups, we make sure that they provide us with complete and quality information about their products, with good quality photos.

We also carry out a large number of checks ourselves in our own databases, proofreading product sheets and correcting errors or misunderstandings reported by our users. All these additions to our databases are then shared with Open Food Facts, subject to respect for the intellectual property of the companies concerned.
myLabel team!

Many thanks to myLabel for this testimony 😊

Whether you are a reuser, manufacturer, distributor, labelled (or not!), you are welcome to join the food revolution! 🍊

You can contact us via producers@openfoodfacts.org

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