Ladybird dealing with an aphid outbreak
Soil Association's definition
of organic farming recognises the direct connection
between our health and how the food we eat is
produced. Artificial fertilisers are banned and
farmers develop fertile soil by rotating crops
and using compost, manure and clover.
regulations, known as ‘standards’, define what organic farmers can and cannot do – and place a strong emphasis on the protection of wildlife and the environment.
its name from the organic matter that farmers
use as an alternative to synthetic fertilisers,
organic farmers take a holistic, principled
approach that respects and harnesses the power
of natural processes to build positive health
across the ecology of the farm.
farming methods offer the best, currently available,
practical model for addressing climate-friendly
food production. This is because it is less
dependent on oil-based fertilisers and pesticides
and confers resilience in the face of climatic
extremes. It also stores higher levels of carbon
in the soil, and as a result if organic farming
was common practice in the UK, we could offset
at least 23% of agriculture's current greenhouse
artificial chemical fertilisers are prohibited – instead organic farmers develop a healthy, fertile soil by growing and rotating a mixture of crops, adding organic matter such as compost or manure and using clover to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere
are severely restricted – instead organic farmers develop nutrient-rich soil to grow strong, healthy crops and encourage wildlife to help control pests and disease
welfare is at the heart of the system and
a truly free-range life for farm animals
diversity of crops and animals are raised
on the farm and rotated around the farm over
several seasons, including fallow periods.
This mixed farming approach helps break cycles
of pests and disease and builds fertility
in the soil
routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers
is banned – instead the farmer will use preventative methods, like moving animals to fresh pasture and keeping smaller herd and flock sizes
modified (GM) crops and ingredients are banned.
reasons to choose Organic
Organic is good for you and your planet, it is
kind to animals and wildlife, and it empowers
us all to make a big difference - simply through
the way we shop. With all these benefits, it’s
easy to see why organic delivers such good value.
Better for your Planet
Over 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions
come from food and farming today.
fertiliser manufacturing is the worst offender.To
produce just one tonne of fertiliser demands a
whole tonne of oil, seven tonnes of greenhouse
gasses, and one hundred tonnes of water. Organic
farmers work with nature to feed the soil and
control pests. By choosing organic, local and
seasonal - we as consumers can significantly reduce
our carbon footprint.
2. Great for You
No food has higher amounts of beneficial minerals,
essential amino acids and vitamins than organic
food. Organic food avoids pesticides and all controversial
additives. including aspartame, tartrazine, MSG
and hydrogenated fats. Organic food contains higher
levels of vitamin C and minerals like calcium,
magnesium, iron and chromium as well as cancer-fighting
antioxidants and Omega 3. Organic milk for example,
is on average 68% higher in Omega 3 essential
fatty acids that normal milk.
Kind to Animals
Animal welfare is at the heart of organic systems.
Soil Association standards for meat and animal
products rigorously protect all aspects of animal
wellbeing - from rearing, feeding and shelter,
to transportation and slaughter. Organic animals
are free to pursue natural behaviour because they
have plenty of outside space to thrive and grow,
and are not routinely drugged with antibiotics.
Organic standards prohibit cruelty and guarantee
truly free-range lives for farm animals.Yes, that’s
right. Many shoppers don’t realise that
organic products are also free range. Eggs and
meat with the Soil Association symbol have been
reared to the highest level of free-range standards.
Birds are looked after in smaller flocks, spend
more of their lives roaming outside on fresh grass
and have more space in their houses.
The UK Government’s own advisors found that
plant, insect and bird populations can be up to
50% greater on organic farms.
farming relies on wildlife to help control natural
pests, so wide field edges are left uncultivated
for bugs, birds and bees to flourish. This vital
wildlife is also not deterred or harmed by the
spraying of fertilisers, chemicals and pesticides
routinely used on non-organic farms.
Genetically Modified (GM) crops and ingredients
are banned under organic standards. Shoppers wanting
to avoid GM products may be surprised to know
that over a million tonnes of GM crops are imported
each year to feed non-organic livestock, which
in turn supply our supermarkets with pork, bacon,
milk, cheese and other dairy products.