Tuesday, 24 July 2007

African organic farms under threat

Starting Monday 23rd July, the Soil Association (SA) is debating the merits of banning the certification of African organic produce due to the CO2 emissions created by the aircraft that fly the produce to our stores. The SA is hearing views on the issue until September, when it will act to impose either a limited or total ban. There is pressure from UK farmers to impose the ban. If the SA imposes a ban on the labelling of African organic produce as organic, it will effectively destroy the livelihood of millions of people across Africa. There are a number of reasons why such a move would be immoral, and would do little to protect the environment.

The farmers in Africa that have worked for years to get organic certification create on average 30 times less CO2 than UK citizens (World Bank figures). They see the West as the main contributors to climate change, yet they are the ones being punished for it. London's Cranfield University in a recent study calculated that roses grown in Kenya saved more CO2 than if the flowers were grown in Holland. This is because of the greater use of renewable energy sources in Kenya compared to the high energy consumption in Holland. Even factoring in the CO2 from the air transport, the African produce has still created less CO2 emissions than the European produce.

1 comment:

Craig Mackintosh said...

On this topic, you may find this article of interest.