The winners of the Observer Ethical Awards have been announced, and as always they are a worthy lot and a fascinating reflection of the ethical/green scene in the UK. The winner of the fashion award is Finisterre--ethical surf wear from Cornwall--the hot spot for surfers in England. Winning politician was former mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and winning grass roots campaigner was Anna Heywood, a student activist. Best Online Retailer was Natural Collection--this is their third win in a row. Most ethical business: Divine Chocolate. Best local retailer: Warren Evans beds in London (they deliver them wrapped in blankets so that there is less packaging) and best DIY Project winner is Russell Smith
The award for Conservation Project went to Coast (Community of Arran Seabed Trust). This is a small community of fishermen and residents in Lamlash bay who began to worry about the sea's diversity and on-going productivity almost fourteen years ago. They found that there was no legal protection for ocean biodiversity. As a result of their painstaking work with all stakeholders in the community, this became the UK's first No Take Zone (NTZ) around the bay - an exclusion zone of 267 hectares, providing protection from any fishing by anybody. This marine conservation area will give all marine life in the area a chance to regenerate.
Does anyone really give a cluck about chickens? Winning campaigner was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who beat out Jamie Oliver and Treehugger favourite George Monbiot. Considered a national treasure, the author, conservationist, cook and activist is a major player on the British scene. This year he took on industrialised food in a big way, especially battery chickens and as a result sales of organic, free-range, non-battery chickens shot up after his outrageous t.v. show on that subject. And he just never stops. His latest initiative is to raise havoc at the Tesco AGM. He has bought a financial stake in Tesco and, as is his right, has tabled a resolution which would force the company either to withdraw its claim that it supports animal welfare or to adopt minimum standards set by the RSPCA.:: The Observer Ethical Awards 2008