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Thread: Soil Association may not certify anything that gets air freighted

  1. #1
    gertvegan's Avatar
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    Arrow Soil Association may not certify anything that gets air freighted

    Here's part of a brief but interesting article from the manager of Bristol's Better Food Company.

    For various reasons, supermarkets will sell all of their organic produce in plastic bags.

    It helps keep them fresh when they are being flown over from China 3 weeks earlier than they should be, and also prevents the produce from going dead whilst being transported from their hubs in London around the UK with their just-in-time systems. OK, so technically they can still call some of these products organic, but is this what we mean when we say organic? For us, certainly not and for the Soil Association it would seem this is also not the case at the annual Soil Association conference in Cardiff, they very bravely spoke about the prospects of not certifying anything that gets air freighted.

  2. #2
    veg_eric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soil Association may not certify anything that gets air freighted

    Very interesting, and I do think they've got a point.

    How "organic" is something when it's dragged all over the world?

    I doubt if it will work, I fear a lot of organic veggies will still be flown in, but with a certification of a non- U.K institute.

  3. #3
    gertvegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soil Association may not certify anything that gets air freighted

    Organic move to cut food flights

    Theres more info here.

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soil Association may not certify anything that gets air freighted

    Thank you for the links gertvegan. Our local supermarket has a shelf with 'organic' veggies, but frankly they are too expensive for me. I think the Soil Assn is doing the right thing.

    On the topic of flying, just thinking of all the energy that gets burnt etc, surely people could think twice about flying around the globe here and there just for holidaying. Even meetings nowadays could surely be organised around a video link-up rather than have people flying from Australia to Europe or the US.
    Eve

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    75% Chickpea Cumin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soil Association may not certify anything that gets air freighted

    Hmm. I'm unsure about this. I agree of course that we should be reducing the air-freight, and that increasing the visibility of long-haul items is a good thing, but what has that to do with organic or non-organic status of the food? I think the soil association are in danger of muddying their message with this, and could potentially ruin the good work they have already done. If they move their standard too far from the globally acknowledged meaning of 'organic' (no chemicals etc) then the average consumer will be faced with unclear, competing positions to choose between.
    Also, if they carry this to it's logical conclusion, then anything transported by means of an oil-powered vehicle should be excluded. Otherwise - where should the line be drawn?
    Last edited by Cumin; May 27th, 2007 at 10:21 AM. Reason: (grammar correction)
    How good it is to be well-fed, healthy, and kind all at the same time. Henry J. Heimlich

  6. #6
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Soil Association may not certify anything that gets air freighted

    It does seem a bit odd as they would still be Organic, but it does worry/annoy me that so much of it is flown in, and it's just so hard to get local organic produce .

    Actually, the whole issue of fruit and veg in supermarkets bothers me a lot with regards to freshness and actuall nutrient content by the time it's sold/eaten .

  7. #7
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soil Association may not certify anything that gets air freighted

    I thought one of the options the Soil Association was considering was to go on certifying it but make the producers label it to show if it has been air-freighted and how far - that would be sensible.

    Someone was trying to tell me that air-freighting stuff from developing countries was sometimes not environmentally unfriendly because other stuff is being air-freighted there and the planes would come back empty if they weren't carrying fruit etc. However I find that a bit difficult to believe as those countries probably don't import a lot of stuff.

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