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New Agriculturist: News brief - Soil Association gives green light to air freight
 
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Soil Association gives green light to air freight

The Soil Association continues to approve organic certification of air-freighted food. (WRENmedia)
The Soil Association continues to approve organic certification of air-freighted food.
WRENmedia

The Soil Association will continue to approve organic certification of air-freighted food provided it delivers genuine benefits to farmers in developing countries. Following a four-month public consultation the organisation has decided that air-freighted organic food will have to meet its Ethical Trade standards or those of the Fairtrade Foundation. These include importing businesses helping to develop local infrastructure, from road-building to the provision of electricity or clean water.

The organisation has been under increasing pressure from environmentalists to withdraw certification due to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by air freight, while farmers in developing countries feared such a move would threaten wages and jobs. Anna Bradley, chair of the Soil Association's Standards Board, said that ultimately the organisation "will be doing all it can to encourage farmers in developing countries to create and build organic markets that do not depend on air freight." The new guidelines will begin to take effect from January 2009.

Date published: November 2007

 

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