Frequently asked questions

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How can one obtain food product information ?

Food product information can be obtained in two ways:

1. Through Beelong's spontaneous research or as part of the studies which are carried out for restaurants. The information is obtained via the fact sheets of the products, through the websites of brands and distributors, or exchanges directly with brands and producers. Information is often missing and the eco-scores are provided as an indication. They appear as "uncertified" in the Product Base and in the calculator. An orange banner also identifies the "non-certified" products on the Beelong fact sheets.

2. Through the transmission of all the information directly by the brand. These products appear as "certified" in the Product Base and in the calculator. A green banner also identifies "certified" products on Beelong data sheets.

What happens if information is not available on food products?

In case of missing information (e.g. sources of ingredients, production methods , breeding program, cultivation method, fishing technique, etc.) the data is considered as "not communicated " and the worst value is used for the criterion concerned.

When the recipes (lists of ingredients and proportions of ingredients in the finished product) are not known, Beelong uses standard recipes according to an internal database of the main ingredients and proportions which have bien observed.

What happens if the eco-score methodology is updated ?

We are continuously working on methodological improvements: data refinement, criteria development, application, etc. These improvements are all published at the same time, approximately every two years. They may trigger a change in score for some products, but not necessarily for all products. 

When an update takes place, all the results displayed online use an URL provided by the Beelong update automatically (eco-score image, Beelong fact sheet). 

For printed visuals, these must be updated by the brand and/or distributors within 6 months. Beelong informs all relevant brands and distributors at least 3 months before the update.

Is the annual license easy for each product, or for the entire brand ?

The annual license is applicable for the entire brand, not for each product.

Does the approach make an impact on my workload?

Studying the environmental impact of all the products which are purchased make no impact on the workload of the cooks. The only thing to do is to send Beelong the delivery notes which have been received during the defined study periods. 

Beelong then takes care of searching for all the information on your food products, analyzes the results and suggests an action plan.

At the end of the study, Beelong offers you possible improvements to reduce the environmental footprint of your purchases. Your workload depends entirely on the objectives you have set for yourself.

Do I have to inform my suppliers of the process ?

Beelong recommends notifying your suppliers using the document "Announcement to Suppliers ". This is an optional communication.

What is the best way to use my results?

Your results can be used to determine your medium- and long-term sustainability goals, and to target possible short-term improvements.

Your results can also be used to communicate your results and/or your participation in a continuous improvement process with your consumers and employees.

The eco-score of a food product in my results report is different from the online score. Why?

Eco-scores depend on the information which is available on the products. These can evolve over time, as information is exchanged with brands and distributors. 

The eco-scores reported at a given time in a result report may change over time. The latest up-to-date eco-scores are those listed on the "Product Base" page.

Is it possible to import the food products I use in advance?

Yes, if you have recently carried out a study of your food purchases with Beelong, all the product references evaluated in this context will be available in your calculator.

What if the product I'm looking for isn't in the database yet?

If the product you are looking for is not available, you can request it through Beelong by specifying the product name, brand or distributor, and if possible by sending a link to a fact sheet or label.

You can also choose another similar product that is as close as possible to the product you are looking for, using the different filters.

Who are we?

The company Beelong is co-managed by Charlotte de La Baume and Mathias Faigaux, two alumni of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) who are convinced that better information for catering professionals and consumers is an essential element to address current climate issues. The team is currently made up of about ten people.

How did Beelong see the light of day?

The company Beelong is co-managed by Charlotte de La Baume and Mathias Faigaux, two alumni of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in 2008, due to students who were concerned about the sustainability of the dishes they were learning to create, budget for, prepare and serve. They then asked themselves a simple question, how to help professionals buy through a criteria other than price or quality?

Then led by Charlotte de La Baume, freshly graduated and supported by EHL from 2012 to 2014 for its pilot phase, the project won the 1st Prize in the Genilem HES-SO 2013 competition for its innovative and applied aspects.

Faced with the enthusiasm aroused by the project among French-speaking communities, the company was co-founded in 2014 by Charlotte de La Baume and Mathias Faigaux, also alumni. In 2015, more than 70 community restaurants are already working with Beelong, mainly due to its integration within the sustainable food strategy in the Vaud county, not to mention, the interest of the other French-speaking counties.

In 2017, when there was a growing interest of the market and the new demands of restaurateurs for more transparency, traceability and sustainability, Beelong developed its services in particular for brand distributors of food products.

Beelong now works with many restaurateurs, brands and distributors throughout Switzerland, all of whom are concerned about the future of our planet and the transparency of the food system.

Why Beelong ?

With 30% of the environmental damage generated in Switzerland by food*, restaurateurs and actors in the food industry (producers, processors, distributors, etc.) have a crucial role to play.

Whether in terms of CO2 emissions, pollution, impact on climate and biodiversity, waste, or working conditions and food safety, the choices made on a daily basis by professionals in terms of agricultural products lead to significant consequences. The volumes of meals served every day by the catering services, whether collective or commercial, confer certain responsibilities on the entire sector, through its partners, its customers and the environment.

But to buy more sustainably, you still need to access to information! Beelong wishes to participate in the evolution of transparency on the food market, by making environmental information on products accessible.

* Source: Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), 2011