Reading the organic label is not enough!
Here is a demonstration of how companies play around with the organic label and what to do instead.
Case study: Rapeseed oil in the Netherlands.
“Better for the environment to buy conventional oil than organic oil in the Netherlands! (transport wise)”
Polluting organic oil produced in NL
The rapeseed oil from Ekoland (a dutch oil manufacturer sold in EkoPlaza shops and online) is said to be produced a 100% in the Netherlands with organic rapeseed. No counter indication, the label indicates BIO-NL. However, if you contact them by twitter, the company will actually notify you that the rapeseed comes from Romania, thus 2200 kms away, and then pressed in the Netherlands. The oil costs 3,80€ for 1L , which means that to get such a low price, the company needs to produce a very large amount of oil, thus multiplying the back and forth of trucks from Romania to the Netherlands. The CO2 print is therefore exponential.
This goes for all the brands available in organic supermarkets in the Netherlands (we checked!).
Cutting down transport by 20 with conventional oil from NL
However, if you contact Brassica, the biggest non-organic rapeseed oil manufacturer in the Netherlands, sold in every Albert Heijn supermarket, they will notify you that their seeds are coming from the North Holland region and pressed in their factory: less than a 100km away.
Therefore, by buying non-organic oil at your conventional supermarket you will cut down the transportation distance + CO2 print by x20!
This is of course low quality oil, so let’s find a middle ground.
Importing french organic oil to NL, cutting down transport by 4
France being one of the main grower of rapeseed, we went on a hunt to find an organic oil produced with french organic seeds. After dozens of phone calls we found only one company (only one) producing oil with french organic rapeseed: “Les Greniers Bio d'Armorique”. The distance from this french factory to the Netherlands is more or less: 520kms.
Therefore, by importing french produced oil to the NL, we have cut down the transportation distance + CO2 print by x4! The price of the oil is of course higher: 6€ for a 1L bottle (produced by a small scale organic farm) + 10€ for the shipping. By buying a case of 6 bottles, you will double your expenses, sure, but help to sustain resilient farming as well as having a consistent impact on the environment.
Reading the label is not enough!