Friday, 20 March 2009


Today I have a dilema.

I try to support the British famers as much as possible buying British produced goods. If not my next tick box is Fairtrade.

I had been getting my granulated sugar from the Co-op when near there as they sell Silver Spoon which is made from British sugar beet.

I however also try and support my doorstep milkman as the convenience and not having to use my car usually outweighs the price difference.

Now to my dilema.

The milkman sells sugar which is the same price as Co-op , but it is I am told (after ringing Whitworths) only half British sugar beet, and half imported sugar cane. The sugar cane is not Fairtrade. Both come in recyclable paper bags.

Should I stick with buying British and bulk buy to equal out the petrol usage? or

Should I buy from the milkman knowing it doesn't tick all the boxes, but helps keep his delivery round going?

Dave and the boys have said it is up to me as I do the shopping, big help there!!


  1. Oh no! I hate these sorts of conundrums, when you find a product that doesn't tick all the boxes.
    You're keeping your milkman going anyway (I think I remember you saying you used him for other deliveries?) I would buy in bulk the British product, but you have to look in your own heart and figure out what feels best for you.

    Good luck!
    i'm just about to place my suma order, so this post if very timely!

  2. Thanks Rae, I am still deliberating this one.

    As I use quite a bit of sugar I have been considering keeping the one bag a fortnight from the milkman and then buying any excess required in bulk from the Co-op that way I will be ticking boxes in both camps.

    I noticed yeasterday that Tesco now sell Whitworths sugar that is Fairtrade but in horrible plastic bags.

    I just like to see firstly the Union Jack, then if not that the Fairtrade symbol, and then if not that the Soil Association symbol on my products as much as possible.

  3. You say you have been buying sugar from the Co-op when near there, which suggests that you go that way anyway from time to time.

    Tesco is not the supermarket of choice for the ethical shopper. Do you not have a Sainsbury's nearby, or maybe a Waitrose? I know these are not as widespread as Tesco, but our Sainsbury's and Waitrose stores both sell Fairtrade Tate and Lyle sugar in paper bags - at least I think so. I've been buying my sugar from Waitrose as that's where I do most of my shopping. I think Sainsbury's sell this sugar, too. I only buy a few things there each month these days.

    I think as a general rule, it's best not to make a special journey. Fairtrade is good, but climate change will affect the poorest first and worst, and may already be doing so. Therefore there needs to be a clear benefit in buying Fairtrade and it should not be done in a way that will create excessive carbon emissions.

    The LOAF principle is a good guide:

    L - Local,

    O - Organic

    A- Animal Friendly

    F - Fairtrade

    in that order.

  4. Thanks Karin,

    I try to avoid Tesco as much as possible but it is the closest big supermarke.

    I do use Sainsburys for certain things, and had noticed last time I was in that their own sugar was now fairtrade and in paper.

    The nearest Waitrose is over 50 miles away so a no go I'm afraid, although when I looked online I was impressed with some of their products.

    I think I will stick with what I said to Rae earlier in that I will get the one bag a fortnight from the milkman and then buy either British or Fairtrade from the Co-op or Sainsburys in bulk when I'm near.

  5. Maisie - I think you have come up with an excellent solution to your problem!

  6. I have again changed this as my local PO/shop has now starrted stocking the British sugar at a competitive price and as I go there weekly to draw out the cash from the bank I will buy my sugar from there.

    I have tweaked my order with the milkman so he is not losing out on my custom, as I now buy my butter (Country life) from him which is British and is very competitively priced.