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Celebrating 25 years at the Soil Association!

Francis Blake: I recently found out, much to my surprise, that I have just passed my 25th anniversary working for the Soil Association. Comments flowed like, wow that’s quite a feat, and, how on earth have you survived that, and, you must write a blog of your experience! It’s actually worse (or better!) than that as, whilst my employment began in April 1990, I started working as self-employed four years before that, in 1986. And in fact for five years before that, I was a trustee on the Council. But perhaps I should start even earlier, when I got hooked on organic farming.

07 July 2015 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 4

Oily fraud? Virtues of organic certification

Charles Redfern: Last week, the Guardian published two articles on olive oil fraud. While both reported on some breathtaking scams, one showed readers how to tell the real thing, and, neither mentioned the virtues of organic certification for protecting the consumer. Firstly organic olives are grown without chemical fertilisers or pesticides. Then, when it comes to processing, organic olive oil (like all organic oils) is not allowed to be chemically treated, heat-treated, refined or had any solvents added. This is to ensure the product is as near to its natural state as possible, to conserve as many nutrients as possible. According to organic principles, quality, taste and nutritional benefits are safeguarded - right from the start.

12 January 2012 | 159 Comments | Recommended by 13

Shades of green: should there be more organic licensing options?

Ed Dowding: Organic food shoots itself in the foot with its elitist principles, say a recent article in Farmers’ Weekly. Organic isn’t yet what one might call ‘mainstream’, so they may have a point. For too many of us, being organic comes at too high a cost: at the till, in labour costs, paperwork, effort, and time. It takes a great deal to meet the commendably high organic standards. Is there a way this burden could be reduced whilst preserving the core principles?

13 September 2011 | 4 Comments | Recommended by 10

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