You’ve got to laugh

Date Published: 04/03/2009

A few of us have been chuckling our way around the office having seen this:

“Beware of misleading labels implying “freedom”; only the Soil Association accreditation offers any real guarantee of a decent standard of animal care.”
George Miller and Katharine Reeve,authors of the new Rough Guide to Food, The Times, 3 March 2009

Where on earth does a statement like that come from?

Let’s start with the fact that according to our own close analysis, the difference between Organic Farmers & Growers standards and the Soil Assocation Certification Ltd standards boils down to a very few variations in requirements, particularly with regard to livestock. Of those variations none of them could be called substantial and in an argument over whether our version or the SACL version is “better” for welfare, you might as well be debating whether the chicken or the egg came first, because your chances of reaching a consensus are about as good!

Secondly, quite what do the authors mean by “decent”? In organics, and with the OF&G standard, we shoot for “excellent”. Who wants “decent”?

Are they implying the SACL standard is only “decent” and not excellent???

We certainly have no desire to denigrate Soil Association Certification’s standards, but if the authors wanted to give such a piece of advice to their readership, perhaps it would have shown them to be better informed if they had substituted the words “Soil Assocation accreditation” for “organic accreditation”.

The SA, however, seem to be very pleased with the recommendation – we found that snippet in their daily news digest.