H.E. Joseph Muchemi Kenyan High Commissioner
Sir; The Soil Association has always supported farms in Kenya and there are socio-economic benefits from the trade in organic fresh produce. We are glad it has decided against a ban on certifying airfreighted goods as organic ('Organics must slash reliance on airfreight', The Grocer, 27 October, p51). However, it is unreasonable to impose stricter standards on Kenyan farmers, while UK farmers don't have to adhere to them even though their carbon footprint may be far greater. The Soil Association focused on airfreight as a prime contributor to global warming even though emissions for organic produce airfreighted from sub-Saharan Africa are less than 0.01% of the UK's emissions. In 2008, we will continue our Grown Under the Sun campaign, staking our claim that sourcing fresh produce from Kenya is often 'greener' and has associated development benefits. That said, we also intend to work with the Soil Association and other organisations to develop a carbon footprint methodology that will measure the environmental impact of a product from farm to fork.