Update. December 2013

Farmer Steve against GM giants

Western Australian farmer Steve Marsh's trial begins on the 10th of February. In 2010 Steve lost his organic certification when GM canola from next door jumped the fence and contaminated 70% of his farm. In a world first, he is suing his GM neighbour for damages. If he wins he not only protects his right to grow clean GM-free organic food, he also protects our rights to eat GM-free foods.

> See Vid > See Global mail article >Support Steve.

  Journeying towards ZERO WASTE  

Imagine no plastic bags, no food packaging, no disposable coffee cups, no little plastic produce bags, no wasted carrot tops or mouldy leftovers. It's possible!

Sustainable Table have launched a Pozible crowd-funding campaign to produce a short documentary about waste and waste-free eating. Singer Jack Johnson is helping out. You can too!

Be inspired to take your own journey towards zero waste with these 'plastic-free' stories:

Angora cruelty in China

Huge clothing retailer, H&M, ceased production of all its angora products last week, in response to horrific video footage released by PETA that shows rabbits screaming in pain as their fur is torn off at angora farms in China. Sadly, clothing retailer Zara is refusing to do the same - there are 60 angora items for sale on the Zara website.

> See Guardian article (16/12/13) > Sign PETA petition & SumOfUs petition > See Shop Ethical! Clothing edition

Goodies for Christmas!

What is Santa's carbon Footprint?

Just look at these disturbing calculations!


Gift giving this Christmas? Do it with a difference by making a difference. Check out great gift (and non-gift) ideas at our Ethical Christmas Guide.

Some beauties available from our online shop are the 2014 Supermarket pocket-guide (discounts for bulk orders); People & Planet calendars and diaries; Fregie Sacks; and great books such as The Chemical Maze, The Sustainable Seafood Guide, Seasonal Regional, and the Locavore Guide. Your purchases will help support our work, and at the same time equip your friends and family to walk the talk. ...You might want to Gift our Shop Ethical! iPhone app. Here's how.


If you're looking for a clothes purchase, see Oxfam’s “Naughty or Nice” Christmas list showing which Australian retailers have signed the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord.

Quick bites ...  
  • For Shop Ethical! iPhone app users on iOS 7, apologies for the present glitch that means you can't access the updated clothing data. We're working on a solution.
  • The proposed acquisition of Archer Daniels Midland's $2bn cocoa business by Cargill (the world’s largest agricultural trader) will create a duopoly in global cocoa processing, giving Cargill over 35% market share. Swiss group Barry Callebaut – which bought the cocoa division of Singapore’s Petra Foods in 2012 – holds 25%. (8/10/13) Reuters
  • Uzbekistan has stopped the systematic use of children under grade 9 in cotton harvesting (28/11/13) Baptist World Aid. More about Uzbek Cotton.
  • In a welcome (and suprising) move, Treasurer Joe Hockey has rejected US agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland's $3.4 billion bid to takeover eastern Australia's biggest grain handler, GrainCorp (29/11/13) The Land
  • NSW Fair Trading is calling for the development of a binding national standard for ‘free range’ eggs under Australian Consumer Law, saying that current egg classification rules are unclear and open to various interpretations. (9/12/13) AusFood News
  • If you like our updates, you may be interested to sign up to 'Otter' eNews, produced by a similar (but different) group to ours, operating from Sydney. Worth a look!

“There are no sacred and unsacred places; there are only sacred and desecrated places.

My belief is that the world and our life in it are conditional gifts.

We have the world to live in on the condition that we will take good care of it."

Wendell Berry, acclaimed agrarian poet, writer, and farmer, discusses a sensible, but no-compromise plan to save the Earth, in a wonderfully inspiring recent interview by Bill Moyers.

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