• Soil Association reaches decision on organic produce

Environmental Laboratory

Soil Association reaches decision on organic produce

Jan 28 2009

The Soil Association has decided to approve the sale of organic produce that has been transported by air in British supermarkets.

This decision comes after several large supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose, called for approval of the foreign produce.

It means that fruit and vegetables grown abroad and transported by air can now be officially termed organic, despite arguments that it is not sustainable due to the emissions generated by air, rather than sea freight.

Some businesses, such as organic food suppliers Abel & Cole and Riverford, are against the ruling.

"The social benefits of organic growing in Africa have been grossly overestimated. The biggest beneficiaries are the expats who control the trading," stated Guy Watson, the owner of Riverford.

In other soil-related developments, newly published research revealed that all of China's 646 counties are suffering from soil and water loss.

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