The Importance of Locally Produced Food
The organic industry is booming! And because supermarkets
are trying to keep up they have started to fly in many organic
products from all over the world. However, is this not missing
the point? Doesn't one of the aspects of the organic philosophy
point out that organic food should
be produced locally? Lady Eve Balfour, founder of the Soil Association,
laid down philosophical strictures that to this day remain part
of its gospel. One of them is:
'If fresh food is necessary to health in man and beast, then
that food must be provided not only from our own soil but as
near as possible to the sources of consumption. If this involves
fewer imports and consequent repercussions on exports, then it
is industry that must be readjusted to the needs of food.'
This statement should still be adhered to, but sadly today,
it is not always the case. The Soil Association actually makes
part of its income from certifying imported organic foods. Given
that every human is responsible for 0.77 tonnes of carbon emissions
each time they fly across the Atlantic, every cargo of imported
food, wether organic or not, it is responsible for an awful lot
Organic food regulations should take this into consideration.
Patrick Holden, a carrot farmer from Lampeter, Dyfed, who is
the Soil Association's director, worries about these things,
and has said, that we must promote organic farming, but not industrialised
organic production. We have to protect the philosophy of the
founders and the principles, which is why, after all, people
buy the stuff. Food and agriculture are central to the problems
of climate change and the post-peak oil world.'
So why is the Soil Association putting its seal of approval
on many imported organic products? Surely they should be promoting
locally produced organic food and products, or at least from
the UK! Supermarkets in particular are the ones importing many
organic food items etc. So it is those supermarkets that need
to be putting money into british organic farming.
Here are a few examples of organic food items that are being
imported, and the food miles they have:
Apples - From New Zealand, a journey of 10,000 miles. A passenger
fl ying the same distance would create 3.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide,
almost as much as an average UK household creates in a year from
the use of electricity.
Potatoes - From Israel, a journey of 2,187 miles. The British
Potato Council estimates that the UK imports about 350,000 tonnes
of potatoes a year, including imports during the UK season.
Prawns - From Indonesia, 7,278 miles. Prawns and shrimps are
now farmed intensively in many parts of south east Asia.
Mange tout - Imported from Zimbabwe, a journey of 5,130 miles.
Beef - Imported from Argentina and sometimes as far as Australia,
a journey of at least 7,000 miles
So What's in a Name?
A row has sprouted between supermarket giant Sainsbury's and
internet entrepreneur Samantha Burlton over use of "So Organic"
So Organic, founded by Burlton in 2003, sells a range of organic
non-food products, and the companies name was registered as a
trademark last summer.
She was there fore furious to discover that Sainsbury's plans
to launch its own brand called "So Organic". Burlton
says she felt her companies identity and image was protected
and has asked the supermarket to change the name of its brand.
However, Sainsbury's is refusing to do so and has itself applied
for a trademark, although the process is yet to be completed.
Burlton told GB: "We think that right is on our side,
as we had this name first and thought we had done everything
possible to protect our business. We are taking legal advice
at the moment and have had a lot of offers from specialists in
patent and trademark law. It is frustrating; because of the relative
size of the companies, it is going to be quite hard for us."
Sailsbury's has released a statement saying it "doesn't
believe there is any overlap" and suggests that the "key
difference" is that its label is for organic food, whereas
Burlton sells non-edible organic goods.
To visit So
Organic's Website - Click Here
I feel that this is very unfair and So Organic should fight
Sainsbury's to the very end! If you have any comments about this
or any other articles related to organic food and products, please
don't hesitate to sent me an email and I will publish your thoughts
Organic Food Growing Market
Wal-Mart, the worlds leading supermarket is entering into
the organic food industry, and have promised to change the way
Americans buy food.
Any change in the buying policies of Wal-Mart will have a
massive effect on the food production and agricultural industries,
this is because it is the worlds biggest supermarket retailer.
This move into organic food will hopefully have an influence
on many more large food producers, like Kellogg, Pepsi and Kraft.
And encourage them to expand into organic food production.
The companies Kraft and Kellogg have already started work
on organic versions of their products. This move by these multi-national
companies will help increase the amount of people who can afford
The cost of organic food is at a premium at the moment due
to the improved productivity of the pesticides used by most farmers.
Because the large food producers are entering into the organic
food market, it will drive down the cost of organic food. However,
some think that the standards will also be lowered.
The Director of the US Organic Consumers Association said
to The Guardian, "When Wal-Mart places a gigantic order,
the wholesalers start to lobby for lower standards, and out-source
to places overseas where the standards are lower or the labour
practices are horrible."
Wal-Mart has recently acquired Asda as the UK's face of Wal-Mart,
however they still have a very long way to go to catch the UK's
industry leader Tesco.
Organic News Pages - Archives
Organic News Page
Urgent Talks Regarding Global Food Costs
UK CO2 Emissions Rise Faster Than EU Average
Fairtrade Shopping Revolution in the UK
News Page 2:
Ethical Air Freight of Organic Food
News Page 3:
Soil Association Organic Market Report -
Organic Food Sales Soar
News Page 4:
The Soil Association Organic Food Festival
Organic Awards - Winners Announced
Organic Milk and Cheese Sales Rise
News Page 5:
Is it on the Label?
M&S Turning Green
News Page 6:
Opinion Split over Organic Food
Organic Farmers etc Reply to Doubt Cast
Ethical Spending (eg. Organic Food) is at
an all Time High!! And has beaten Beer &
News Page 8:
Devon - Voted The No. 1 Organic County!
Soil Association at the National Fruit
News Page 9:
Launch of New Similac Organic Formula Milk
Supermarkets - Organic Friend or Foe?
The Importance of Locally Produced Food
So What's in a Name? - soorganic.co.uk tries
to fight leading brand for name...
Organic Food Growing Market
News Page 11:
Have an Organic Valentines Day
Organic Food Catching On
Raising Awareness of Organic Food
News Page 12:
Mothers and Babies - why you should eat
Local Farmers Markets Boom & Organic
Food Sales Grows by £2.3 Million a