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Organic Sector Submits On 'Carbon Footprint'

Organic Sector Submits On 'Carbon Footprint' Debate

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) has made a submission on the UK Soil Association's 'Green Paper on Air Freight', opposing the suggestion from Britain's largest organic certifier that air freighted products should be banned from carrying their organic label.

"OANZ accepts there are a range of negative environmental impacts from air freight, but these shouldn't be considered in isolation and shouldn't be used as a barrier to organic trade", said OANZ Deputy Chair David Wright.

"The impact of air transport should be considered as part of the product's total life cycle, and efforts
should be made to reduce the environmental impact of the whole system.

"Well publicised research by Lincoln University clearly illustrates that the number of miles something travels is not a good guide to the amount of carbon dioxide and other emissions produced.

"The lack of synthetic chemicals in organic systems can make them more energy efficient than conventional systems, but organic standards should continue to develop towards carbon neutrality.

"Organic production has been identified by farmers in developing countries as a way out of poverty, and in some cases air freight is the only viable route to developed markets. Restrictions on the transport of organic products risks damaging one worthy goal - the development of the third world - in order to meet another.

"OANZ is asking the UK Soil Association to switch its focus to examine the carbon footprint of products measured over their whole life cycle, and to take into account any related carbon offsets.

"Internationally the Soil Association is a leader in organic development. We'd like them to lead the way to carbon neutral organic farming systems, rather than single out particular elements such as air freight or food miles", Mr Wright said.

  • Submission
  • Soil Assn Green Paper
  • ENDS

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