> At least Marks and Spencer's olive oil is not
> produced by the night time vacuum harvesting
> method which kills millions of birds. A number of
> newspapers reported on this last month:-
> "Every year, millions of songbirds are brutally
> killed by suction olive harvesters as they rest at
> night in olive trees. In many regions, this
> industrialised slaughter takes place because
> harvesters have switched to night time harvesting
> simply to improve the flavour of the olives"
> Apparently the colder night time temperatures
> better preserve the flavour. In the daytime the
> birds can fly away, but at night they are
> "Ethical Consumer are currently looking into the
> best brands to buy if you want to be assured that
> your olive oil has not contributed to the
> slaughter of wild birds. Whilst the full report is
> still in progress, they have released the
> following statement to help concerned buyers in
> the meantime:
> "In response to queries, Ethical Consumer magazine
> has been contacting brands about what their policy
> is relating to birds and olive oil. The following
> brands have replied to say that they do not use
> the olive harvesting method that leads to vast
> bird deaths: BionaOrganic, Mr Organic, Marks and
> Spencer. A more detailed report from one of their
> researchers is soon to come."
> From the Olive Oil Times
> Martin Harper, the RSPB’s director of conservation
> said, “Numbers of farmland birds in Europe have
> plummeted by 55 per cent over the last three
> decades and this is another shocking example of
> how modern agricultural practices are impacting
> our bird populations, including some UK species
> passing through the region.”
> Andalusian officials have recommended the practice
> stops but unless legislation is passed in the next
> few months the “massacre” will start again in
> October, researchers warn.
> Petition [chng.it
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Keira.
The Ethical Consumer has now produced a report naming those shops/brands which can or cannot guarantee their olive oils to be bird-friendly.
Of the supermarkets, Aldi, Asda, the Co-op, and Tesco could not guarantee this. Nor could Morrisons but they said that their initial inquiries indicated their oil is bird-friendly. The brand Napolina/Olivia (Princes Group)could not guarantee it (this is the only brand that was not able to).
The report says that in relation to those that could not make the guarantee, "these companies stated that any super-intensive nocturnal harvesting methods would be stopped before next harvesting season."
Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys and Waitrose all guaranteed their oils to be bird-friendly.
The report strongly recommends buying organic since it is unlikely that heavy machinery has been used as well as being more sustainable by excluding toxic pesticides and herbicides.