The Soil Association Standards Board decided at a meeting last night (25 January) to consider a range of options to tackle the environmental impact of organic food transported by air, including an outright ban.
The board will publish a consultation paper outlining various options ranging from labelling produce and carbon offsetting to a total ban on airfreight. This document will lead to a formal recommendation that will be put before the Soil Association within 12-months.
The Soil Association, the UK organic certification body, will introduce whatever measures it deems necessary regardless of any parallel actions taken by UK or European authorities, the Association said.
“There is a strong demand, from the public and many of our licensees, to reduce food miles,” said Soil Association director Patrick Holden, speaking from the Soil Association conference in Cardiff. “Although there is very little airfreighting of organic produce, we believe there is an urgent and pressing need to make every contribution to curbing climate change that we can.
“This is a complex issue though: especially for producers in developing countries where it involves equity and ethical trading issues, and that’s why we shall actively engage a wide-range of stakeholders to ensure we get it right.”