The Mystery Shopper's Question: "I have read that the Soil Association says organic produce is becoming more popular - what exactly is organic produce?”
For answers, the Mystery Shopper first visited the retailer's website and, then, posed the question to local produce department personnel. Here are the Mystery Shopper's notes....
What the website says: We work closely with the best organic farms and producers to bring you over 250 Sainsbury’s SO organic products at a fair price all year. Plus, we support British farmers by sourcing all of our organic chicken, pork, eggs, milk, beef and more from right here in the UK, so you can have peace of mind knowing where your food comes from and what’s in it. All our Sainsbury’s SO organic farms and producers adhere to strict standards which give you peace of mind, including:
--Annual inspections by top organic bodies like the Soil Association
--All of our organic ingredients can be traced back to the farm where they were grown
--No chemical fertilisers
--Pesticide use is severely restricted
--Additives are severely restricted and controversial additives are banned
--No artificial colourings or sweeteners
--No hydrogenated fats
--High animal welfare
Best of British: We know buying British is important to you, so all of our Sainsbury’s SO organic chicken, beef, eggs, milk and lamb comes from British farms. We also have a tempting selection of organic British cheeses, like our handmade Sainsbury’s SO organic Cheddar, made by the Alvis brothers on their farm just seven miles from the village of Cheddar, Somerset. We source as much of our Sainsbury’s SO organic fruit and veg as possible from right here in the UK because we know you don’t want to buy lots of organic food from the other side of the world.
How Newcastle in-store staff responded: "Organic is naturally grown, no additives are added to soil and crops except organic fertiliser. It is more expensive but you can taste the difference. We used to have one small section for organics but now we have organic produce in each of the sub-categories."