View Full Version : Organic, local or fair trade?

Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:06 PM
Recently I've thought much about how I can make my lifestyle more ethically, and was wondering, what do you prefer, especially when it comes to fruit and veggies.

Do you only buy seasonal fruits, locally grown items, fair trade or organic stuff?
What is the most important for you?

At the moment, I usually go for organic above all, if I can't get something in organic, I try to get it fresh from the market.
Fair trade is not much of an option here, I've seen only a fair orange juice in supermarkets here, don't usually drink coffee. There's a fair trade shop round the corner but they only sell things I don't need or make from scratch (eg honey, marmelade, jam).

Jan 22nd, 2007, 11:00 PM
Although organic is very important for me, I would never buy organic produce flown in from abroad when the alternative is conventionally grown local produce. Usually I try to go for organic AND local, but if this isn't an option I believe that air miles are worse. Exceptions are things like bananas where there is no local alternative.
Edit: This is currently a lot easier as I'm living in Italy where a great variety of local produce is available. Things will be different when I'm back in Britain. I still find it shocking though that supermarkets sell organic potatoes from Israel, for example, when this is such a local staple food.

Jan 23rd, 2007, 01:50 AM
I agree with applepie's comments about not wanting to buy anything flown in from abroad if it is available locally, even though the foreign ones are organic. To me that is more environmentally sensible.

Jan 23rd, 2007, 01:55 AM
As far as coffee goes, I always buy fair trade.

As for my fruit and veggies, I buy organic as much as I can. Probably the only fruit/veggie I don't buy organic is mushrooms and sometimes canned items. I prefer to purchase organic fruit and veg for health and environmental reasons.

Local is always best, and where there is a local option available I like to support that.

In the last year I have started purchasing jams and skin care products from small Canadian owned companies, rather than large multinationals. These companies aren't exactly local to me (they're on the other side of the country), but I still like to give my money to the little guys who are trying to make a go of things.

Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:00 PM
A couple of streets away, there's the local farm shop. It's nearer than the supermarket and the foods got this rustic quality about it.
We bought a jar of pickled onions before xmyth and they were different sizes and the jar was recycled - they were the best pickled onions we'd ever tasted. :)

Nothing expensively packed, you don't even have to have a carrier bag if you don't want (they supply boxes for bringing stuff home if you've bought loads or if not, take your rucksack with you).

I hate going to the supermarket - even though there's one across the road from where I work making it very convenient - I'd rather go to the local pet shop for cat food and the farm shop for veg. We only ever go to the supermarket if we're desperate.

Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:02 PM
If it's a choice between organic and fair trade (e.g. bananas) I buy the fair trade ones. I heard or read that fair traded stuff is often close to being organically grown because when the growers have more control of the process they tend to use fewer chemicals anyway, but they can't always afford organic certification. Not sure how reliable this information is.

We have organic fruit and veg delivered which is supposed to be local "as far as possible" (although some of it clearly isn't). Don't think the fair trade concept has been applied to UK-grown stuff has it? It's normally about things grown in developing countries or whatever you're supposed to call them these days.

Feb 3rd, 2007, 06:35 PM
I chose local in the poll, and buying organic food is also important to me. There are a couple of organic veg stalls at my local farmers' market, which is ideal! I can't always make it there though and a supermarket is often more convenient. I've become very concerned about only buying seasonal British veg recently.

I buy fairtrade bananas (I hate having to choose between organic and fairtrade in supermarkets - why can't they do both?!), cocoa powder and chocolate. I don't use a lot of the more common fair trade stuff though, such as coffee, tea, juice

Feb 9th, 2007, 02:32 AM
my first criteria is organic. all my fruits, veggies, grains, ect are organic. not only is it better for ME, but for the EARTH as well!

then if there is a local oganic choice i will choose that over the not local organic variety

if there is something that is organic fair trade i will buy that vs the non fairtrade version. (tea, chocolate, sugar, bannanas...ect.)


Feb 9th, 2007, 04:05 AM
man was that a hard question! organic is my life, but if i have to worry about how the people in the fields are treated, and who i am supporting with my cash... it's fair trade all the way!!

Feb 14th, 2007, 09:49 PM
I would say local...just because I'd rather it be from farmers in the area.

I only know of one place that sells organic, fair-trade local fruit and vegetables...I know once I'm earning my own money I'll have to buy mine from there!!

ASDA Wal*Mart = Evil.

In my opinion...that is where my mum shops!

May 4th, 2010, 08:03 PM
YES, anything local please, although organic is even better, wonder if they have veganic to offer... I hate to see that I'm supporting all those CO2 emission so I would choose to buy local.

May 5th, 2010, 01:33 AM
I shop union when I can.

I don't know if that is "fair trade", but sometimes the two aren't the same. What I do try and do is support workers campaigns around food issues, such as boycotting Coca-Cola. http://killercoke.org/

May 5th, 2010, 04:09 PM
not sure what coca-cola can do in this situation...
I mean, it is because it is Columbia that they could do this, they certainly can't just hire someone to kill someone else in US and get away with that!
well, they certainly could penalize the guy who is in charge of the plants...but in case of the lawesuit I don't think it really concern the high up people in the company, because they might allowed it to happen by closing their eyes but it is the guy in Columbia who did this. So in order for justice, don't we need to arrest those militants and the plant manager? and charge coke a lot money?
but either way, I'm boycotting coke, soft drinks sux for health anyways!

Jul 4th, 2010, 12:23 AM
All are important to me, but organic comes first. Not putting poison in my body is more important to me.

Jul 4th, 2010, 04:24 PM
I have organic veggies in my veggie patch, grown from seeds! So yes they're very local too!! At the moment the only thing that I have bought in the last couple of weeks that is fairtrade is sugar =)

May 24th, 2011, 01:06 AM
If anyone is interested in Fairtrade, local and organic foods we offer it in Toronto here!

May 25th, 2011, 12:17 AM
I only eat organic food. I get it from the local co-op and much of the produce is locally grown. I'm not sure if the food that isn't is fair trade or not, I know my bananas are. It's unfortunate that you have to choose between local, organic, and fair trade. That should be the standard not something extra that only a very small percentage of the population takes into account.

May 27th, 2011, 12:14 PM
I like to buy all of them, fair trade for things like bananas, organic as much as possible and as much local produce as possible too! I like to buy local because I also think supporting local fruit and veg can help the UK become more self sufficient, which I think is good as we're slowly becoming far too dependent on other countries, and if they were to stop supplying us for any reason, what on earth would we do!? Like Applepie said, why import potatoes when we grow them here? :) And then whatever we can't grow in our climate, we should buy knowing that whoever sells us the produce is getting a fair deal

Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:37 AM
Hey guys - just a few (turns out more than a few:)) questions: if something is local does that usually mean it's fairtrade? (I'm in Australia.)

Also does an organic label guarantee that they haven't put chemicals/animal products on the fruit to make them shine?

Do organic farmers usually use animal biproducts (manure, etc?) If they do are there usually farms that don't use it? How can we make sure they don't - by asking the store?

Thanks :)

Dec 22nd, 2011, 10:16 AM
The concept of fair trade is usually only applied to goods grown in developing countries and sold on commodity markets. The idea is to product the growers a bit from the vagaries of the market (so they don't starve when prices drop).

If you would like to find out whether growers in Australia get a fair deal or not you could ask the growers, or the agricultural workers' trade unions. Some farmers here reckon they get a rough deal from supermarkets but if you join a box scheme or go to a farmers' market you can buy directly from the farmers. Maybe you have those where you are?

There are a number of threads discussing organic farmers' use of manure. Try searching on "veganic", "stockfree" and "manure".

Dec 26th, 2012, 05:55 PM
Since there was not a combo option I just voted "local." But for us it is organic local. We get a share in a CSA each year. So during share months we pick up 3/4 bushel of freshly picked, organic produce from a farm that is only about a 15 minute drive from our home. This past summer was the 1st year we were able to have our own garden so between that and the CSA we were pretty well situated. At the store I do a combo of organic and conventional w/ local leanings. I do have to be price conscious as well.

Clueless Git
Dec 27th, 2012, 12:26 PM
Personaly I have little confidence that 'fair trade' or 'organic' means anything significant at all.

Important principle though so, purely out of principle, I spend the little extra it cost to buy either whenever I can.

Similarly I have little confidence that my carefully segregated recyclables (with the exception of that which is recycled into my own compost bin) actualy get recycled.

Such things are principles though, imho. Main principle being that, no matter what else, we do as close possible to the 'rightest' available things?