The Soil Association: what’s new this year?

January 23, 2015 2:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Here at Naturally Good Food we’re closely linked to the Soil Association. It’s the organic certifying body in the UK and audits us annually under the terms of our organic packing licence – making sure that everything we pack and sell as organic truly fits that description.

The Soil Association was founded in 1946 by farmers, scientists and nutritionists. It campaigns for ‘healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use’. At present, its work is divided into three areas: ensuring that organic systems provide solutions to the challenges of climate change and limited resources; working with the Food for Life partnership to transform the UK’s food culture; and providing technical support and advice to organic farmers and businesses.

This year, it’s celebrating having reached the landmark achievement of getting one million meals served each working day in schools, universities, nurseries, workplaces, hospitals, care homes and restaurants, to the Food for Life Catering Mark standards. These standards guarantee that the food served is ‘fresh, nutritious and sustainable’. For example, meat comes from farms that satisfy UK welfare standards and all eggs are from cage-free hens. No endangered fish can be served and food must be free from undesirable additives or trans fats.

It’s also the Year of Soils this year! Officially launched on World Soil Day, back in December, this initiative from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) notes that: ‘our soils are in danger because of expanding cities, deforestation, unsustainable land use and management practices, pollution, overgrazing and climate change.’ All bodies involved, including the Soil Association, are working to raise awareness and promote policies that protect soils.

As every year, the Soil Association will be encouraging visits and holidays to organic farms, particularly for city children. It will also be campaigning against a ‘dramatic escalation in industrial pig-farming’ in the UK, listing organically certified places to eat out, working to improve hospital food, supporting those setting up or dealing with organic buying groups (as we do ourselves – see here for details), setting up work placements to keep the organic farming industry ticking over, and running courses on everything from bee-keeping to willow-weaving. To mention just a few activities…

All the organic products we sell at Naturally Good Food are certified organic either by the Soil Association or by the relevant body in that product’s country of origin. Organic food must be produced using strictly defined environmentally and animal-friendly farming methods, on organic farms. Genetically modified (GM) crops are not permitted and the use of pesticides and fertilisers is strictly controlled.

We love our organic products, not just for their ethics, but for their taste. Try our organic raisins, for example – nothing like the ones you get in the supermarkets! Or our organic Spanish almonds, which are both mild and nutty, without an overwhelming ‘almondy’ taste.

Click here to see all the organic products we sell.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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