Organic Aquaculture Standards defended by Soil Association
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
BBC Newsnight has claimed that there was evidence the Soil Association’s organic standard and principles were slipping because of the pressure from major retailers and the growth of the organic market. The Association’s application of organic standards to aquaculture was described as a betrayal of organic principles.
The Association released a statement as an answer for these accusations – it was recognised that for some people no form of salmon farming would be acceptable. But the unanimous view of the Soil Association Council Trustees, following an eight year period with no full organic status for the fish-farming trade and a three year research project looking at the concerns was that the principles and practices of organics should be brought to one of the fastest growing food sectors.
Patrick Holden, Director of the Soil Association, stated that they would take any criticism seriously, since public support and trust has been critical to the growth of organic food. It was mentioned that there was room for improvement and that the standard committees are set up to match principles with actual practices. He continued that, however, bending to market pressures was not true at all, particularly when knowing that by sticking to their principles they lost the majority of the poultry market to other organic certifiers with lower standards. If taking into consideration that nearly half of all fish consumed world-wide is coming from farming and the world’s wild fish is seriously over-exploited, it is necessary to improve the environmental and welfare record of this sector. The Association’s aquaculture standards could be claimed to be the highest in the world.