Why buy Organic and Fairtrade Baby Food?

Organic baby food has been around for a number of years but the first Fairtrade baby food was launched in the UK in early 2006 and reflects the demand for Britons growing appetite for ethically-traded products.

The new Plum Baby product is made from organic mango, banana and quinoa grain from South America. Many mums want to feed their babies organic and healthier food as a pure organic diet can be more beneficial during the first few months of life than at any other time. Babies have immature systems and need the very purest and safest foods.

Organic produce is one of the fastest growing food retail sectors in the country.  Health scares such as BSE and foot-and-mouth, plus fears of GM crops/food and synthetic dyes and ingredients such as Sudan1 have led to considerable growth in the organic and the healthy food market as worried consumers seek out more healthy and natural products for both adults and children. This has lead to Organic baby foods becoming increasingly popular. Once only available in health shops or via online, organic baby foods are becoming much more widely available and you can now find them in local conveneice shops. Sales of organic food now account for half of the entire baby food market. Organic baby foods are not necessarily an improvement on organic home cooking, but are more convenient. It is worth noting that descriptions on products — such as natural, traditional, or environmentally friendly — do not mean they are organic.

The term organic is defined by law – all organic food production and processing is governed by a strict set of rules. The Soil Association organic symbol is the UK’s largest and most recognizable trademark for organic produce. Wherever you see it you can be sure that the food you have purchased has been produced and processed to strict and rigorous animal welfare and environmental standards. Other symbols to look out for include the Organic Food Federation and Certified Organic Ingredients.

The Fairtrade Foundation exists to ensure that producers are guaranteed a minimum price for their goods irrespective of world prices. This means that Fairtrade goods are often more expensive in the UK than those without the Fairtrade logo. Although people are now arguing that supermarkets are fuelling their excessive profits by adding large mark-ups to these products This premium that the producer charges covers the basic food, housing, health and education needs of the local communities in countries such as India and Brazil. The Foundation awards a consumer label, the Fairtrade Mark, to products which meet internationally recognized standards of Fairtrade. It is the only such certification in the UK.  The fairtrade label is often a black box with a half yellow, half blue circle with the text Guarantees a Better Deal for Third World Producers. Most people dont have enough time to read the labels of all the different food products that they buy to check for organic or fairtrade ingredients. So look for the various symbols.

The use of such symbols is entirely optional and a product can still be organic or fairly traded even though it doesnt carry the symbol of a certifying body. That means if you want to be 100% satisfied that what you are eating or using is organic or fairtrade, always read the label or speak to the vendor.