U.K. organic certifier says air-freighted organics must meet “ethical standards”
Britain’s main organic certifier, the Soil Association, has decided not to deny the organic label to air-freighted food, instead opting to require producers of flown-in fare to meet ethical standards similar to “fair trade” certification. The association decided that denying organic status to all flown-in food would unfairly hurt farmers and workers in poor countries. Only about 1 percent of organic food is air-freighted to the U.K., but the association is worried about the market’s future growth. The “ethical standards” seek to ensure that workers are not subject to exploitative conditions and that they are guaranteed a fair wage. After a consultation period, the new rules could take effect in January 2009.