Blog: Dean BestAir ban on organic food?

Dean Best | 29 May 2007

The UK’s Soil Association is set to propose a somewhat controversial move next week with plans to strip food flown into the UK of its organic status.

Under a consultation with environmentalists, organic consumers and business, the Soil Association will put forward a range of options designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While the organisation will propose plans including labelling showing a product’s country of origin and carbon offsetting, it is also mulling whether to recommend a total ban on air-freighted food.

Any such move is likely to provoke furious debate. While the ethos behind organic products includes attention to the sustainability of the environment, organic consumers could feel their right to choose is being diluted.

Some may say that a food that is organic and a food that is carbon neutral are two different things. For some, to eat organic is a diet choice, and not necessarily a consideration of whether a food has been flown from Turkey or Thailand.

There’s no doubt that the topic will be on everybody’s lips at two conferences in London in the next week. On Thursday (31 May), the Corporate Climate Response event will focus on the relationship between the food industry and climate change. Next Monday (4 June), the themes of reputation and responsibility will be highlighted at the Food and Beverage 2007 conference in the UK capital.

Just-food will be bringing you the news and views from both.


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