Organic certification body The Soil Association is preparing to pilot an ethical trade logo with selected licencees.
Director Patrick Holden said: “At the moment when consumers buy an organic product they have no idea if the farmer is getting a fair deal. It is in fact in the retailers’ interest to buy as cheaply as possible.”
The SA proposal stems from plans announced last year for an organic and fairtrade joint logo with the Fairtrade Foundation aimed at UK produce. Holden said that scheme had been abandoned after wrangling with fairtrade charities.
The charities had complained the label would mislead consumers because fairtrade was linked to produce from poor farmers in developing countries.
Supermarkets failed to “take the plunge”, in part because they were put off by the controversy over labelling said Holden.
He said the Soil Association planned to launch an “ethically traded” logo as a block under its standard symbol, for produce which conformed to SA ethical standards, although it had met opposition from ethical alliance the Ethical Trade Initiative.