Organic produce

Modern intensive farming methods use large quantities of chemicals, both in the rearing of livestock and in food production. This has led to soil depletion and erosion, pollution of our water supplies and pesticide residues in our food products. Animals are often kept in cramped conditions and can be transported inhumanely over long distances.

New legislation will help to improve the conditions under which farm animals are kept but your choices as a consumer can still make a difference. By choosing unrefined, cruelty-free, locally grown organic foods, you'll benefit both your health and the local environment. The symbol of the Soil Association (see below) ensures, by its stringent standards, a product is genuinely organic.

Soil Association

An organic farm nurtures healthy soil by avoiding the use of artificial pesticides and fertilizers. This produces healthy crops and animals which are reared on natural feed under rigorous welfare standards. Food quality, nutrition and good health are inextricably linked. Organic farming works in harmony with nature and helps maintain a clean environment suitable for both people and wildlife.

Actions

  • It is now possible to purchase a huge variety of organic products from your local supermarket including:
Beverages Biscuits and confectionary
Grocery and home baking Fruit and vegetables
Soups Meat and fish
Breakfast cereals Beers, wines and ciders
Jams and preserves Baby foods
Crisps and snacks Pet foods
Bread and cakes Health and beauty products

Dairy products and eggs

  • Look for labels in local shops and supermarkets which indicate that the product is organic, and look for the Soil Association's Organic Standard symbol (or the symbol of other certifying bodies). Pricing of organic produce is now more competitive.
  • A cheaper alternative is to grow organic fruit and vegetables in your garden or on an allotment. There are a number of allotment societies in the Borough where you can grow your own produce close to home. See the contact information below.

Contacts

  • Allotments Woking Borough Council manages nine allotment sites in the Borough. Contact the Woking Borough Council for information on renting available plots.
    Tel 01483 743690
    email greenspaces@woking.gov.uk
    http://www.woking.gov.uk/leisuretourism/allotments
  • Back garden organic fruit and vegetable growing For a FREE information pack including Cook's Garden wall calendar send a large SAE to HDRA's 'Grow your own organic fruit and vegetables campaign' Ryton Organic Gardens, Coventry CV8 3LG
  • Compassion in World Farming is a charity campaigning for the welfare of farm animals.
    Charles House, 5a Charles St., Petersfield, Hants GU32 3EH
    http://www.ciwf.org.uk Tel 01730 264208
  • Woking Borough Council and Woking LA21 hold a regular Green Gardeners' Question Time. Details are posted on the website at www.woking.gov.uk/environment/la21 and in the pressclose tothe time.
  • Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA) provides organic food research and information.
    Ryton Organic Gardens, Coventry CV8 3LG
    Tel 02476 303517
    www.hdra.org.uk
  • The Soil Association is the home of organic food, farming and sustainable farming. It has a wealth of information about organic farming and food, as well as a directory of stockists of organic foods. The Association is the most widely recognised body for certifying organic farming and produce.
    Bristol House, 40-56 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6BY.
    Tel 0117 914 2444
    email info@soilassociation.org
    www.soilassociation.org
  • If you want to grow flowers, fruit or vegetables without using artificial pesticides or fertilisers, contact the Surrey Organic Gardening Group. Everyone is welcome along to learn from experienced gardeners or to share tips themselves. There is also a regular newsletter. Contact Alistair Cruickshank.
    Tel 020 8669 6692