The Soil Association and the Fairtrade Foundation has launched a project to combine organic and Fairtrade certification which will apply to British and imported foods.

The one-year pilot project has been developed to increase the range of organic products that can carry the Fairtrade Mark.

Under the pilot project, companies selling products from UK farms as well as from developing countries and elsewhere can apply to carry the Fairtrade and Soil Association marks.

Director of the Soil Association Patrick Holden said: “People talk about the food chain in the food industry but in reality it's a fear chain.

“Everyone involved is frightened of losing out - the buyer of not meeting his profit margin, the packer of being de-listed by the supermarkets, the grower of rejects or being priced out of business.

“Existing trading practices contribute to this problem and this new scheme will help promote the changes needed to ensure a fair return to farmers.”