Organic Farm Foods

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Ethics kick OFF

Organic Farm Foods (OFF) has become the first wholehead fresh produce supplier in the UK to pass the Soil Association's new Ethical Trade Standard.

The firm's UK apple orchard, Sheepdrove Organic Farms Ltd, and its UK organic farming operation, Organic Green Orchards Ltd, have both attained the standard.

This means that in four weeks' time, OFF's English apples will be ethically certified when they come onto the market.

The move reflects the firm's commitment to providing both customers and suppliers with an ethical supply option.

Adam Wakeley, joint managing director of OFF, told freshinfo: “We have always been very keen to link organics with ethics in what we do. We used to supply Fairtrade lines, but we found that the premium needed for a product that is both organic and Fairtrade is prohibitive. However, we have always recognised that we need third-party accreditation to market the fruit as ethical.

The Soil Association launched its standard a couple of months ago and we are the first UK wholehead fresh produce supplier to have attained it.”

But we knew that to be able to utilise the certification, we needed it throughout the supply chain – you need the grower, packer and marketing desk to be certified. We have started the process on apples, for which we now have the entire UK supply base certified.”

Now, we are in the process of getting our US apple supplier and our grading facilities approved.

OFF is in talks with major retailers to flash label its English apple offer on the shelves so that consumers are aware that it is ethically sourced, organic fruit.

Wakeley told freshinfo: “The key to this is that there is no premium, while Fairtrade products have one. Our goal is to supply ethically certified organic fresh produce, with no added premium, because our belief is that ethics and organics are linked.

Source: www.freshinfo.com/

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