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Dispatches from FIE

Consumer pressure over biodiversity in food chain growing, says UEBT

By Jane Byrne , 01-Dec-2011

Companies that have been championing biodiversity in their supply chain were recognised at the BioDiversity Awards at the FIE trade show in Paris this week, with an ethical biotrade organisation claiming that only 39% of consumers it polled are confident that the food industry pays serious attention to ethical sourcing.

The award winners, such as rice brand Lotus Foods, are relatively small scale. The Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), a Switzerland-based not for profit organisation behind the awards scheme, stressed that the backing of the larger food manufacturers is, obviously, going to be needed for food biodiversity to be secured long-term.

"The results from our consumer awareness study, the Biodiversity Barometer, show that 89% of consumers want to know more about how the industry uses biodiversity," added UEBT. The survey was conduced earlier this year, with 1,000 consumers surveyed in 6 countries including Germany, France, Brazil, South Korea, the UK and US, said the group.

FoodNavigator caught up with executive director of UEBT, Rik Kutsch Lojenga and co-founder of Lotus Foods, Ken Lee, at the Paris event to hear about some of the crop diversation schemes in place and about what the wider food industry could learn from the various ethical sourcing initiatives.

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