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Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 15:05 GMT
Organic food imports under fire
Apples
The Soil Association wants people to buy more local food
Organic food that is imported into the UK by air may be denied the right to label itself organic, under proposals from the UK's main certification body.

The Soil Association said it was considering the move due to concern about greenhouse gas emissions from flights carrying food around the world.

It has now launched a one-year consultation on the issue.

The Soil Association said there was a growing demand to cut the environmental impact of food distribution.

'Strong case'

Soil Association director Patrick Holden said the organisation would also outline a number of alternative options, including labelling and carbon offsetting.

"This initiative wouldn't have been taken if there wasn't a pretty strong chance that the standards board would eventually decide on a total ban," Mr Holden told the BBC's Today programme.

Mr Holden added that a key factor during the consultation period would be the future viability of fair-trade schemes that benefit farmers in the developing world.

"Overall, the carbon footprint of air-freighting is greater to such a large degree than land transport that we think there is a pretty strong case for looking at a ban very seriously," he said.




SEE ALSO
Food miles don't go the distance
16 Mar 06 |  Science/Nature
Local food 'greener than organic'
02 Mar 05 |  Science/Nature
Supermarkets defend food sourcing
03 Mar 05 |  Business

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