The London Guardian has a valuable piece on the way the "food miles" debate plays out in the Third World, among Kenyan farmers who are growing organic food for British consumers. They object to a proposal by the UK's Soil Association (SA), the country's main certification body, to limit or ban imported organic food.
Starting witha debate in London tomorrow, the SA will hear views on the issue until September, when it may decide to introduce a limited or total ban. A ban would mean labelling air-freighted products so that they effectively lost their organic status due to their 'food miles'. Such a move would destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands of smallholders across Africa in one of the continent's most enterprising export industries, forcing them back into poverty and subsistence farming.
'A ban on our export market will be death for us,' says Charles Kimani, who has put his children through school and college from the profits made from his fruit and vegetables on just seven acres of land.