What Is Organic September?
By Ian Ayling, Director of Marketing & Comms
A call for better. Our world faces emergencies in climate change, diet related ill-health and widespread decline in wildlife. But the future doesn’t have to be daunting - changing our food systems and growing, eating & living in balance with nature is possible
Organic September is a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the many benefits that organic food and farming can bring, which include:
- Supporting biodiversity and wildlife
- Helping to combat climate change
- The highest standards of animal welfare
- Reduced exposure to pesticides
Who are the Soil Association?
We are the charity that joins forces with nature for a better future, a world with good health, in balance with nature, and a safe climate.
Working with everyone to transform the way we eat, farm and care for our natural world, we build real solutions from the ground up.
Together, we are a force for nature.
Our new strategy proposes solutions to respond to the urgent and inter-linked climate, nature and health crises. We know food, farming and forestry hold the key to solving them.
We work to transform:
- Production, supporting farmers and foresters to produce their goods while stewarding the land in nature-friendly ways; and
- Consumption, guiding caterers and businesses to source sustainable produce and serve nutritious food
You cannot change one without changing the other. So, it is our mission to help connect everyone – with the natural world and each other – to make positive changes for people and planet.
We believe the connected solution is to welcome more agroecological practices. These restore the health of our soils as well as recognise the social impact of the way we grow, prepare and eat.
To change the system, we need support from governments and local decision makers to set standards and adopt policies that give everyone a common incentive to make change. We want good food to be the natural choice, the easy choice.
Organic is the only system coded in law that assures the right agroecological balance, setting a beacon for policy makers to aim for, recognising best-in-class businesses, and offering transparency to citizens, helping them make choices that support a healthy, nature-friendly future. But progress is also being made through legislation, like the UK Environment Act, local nature recovery strategies, and supply chain practices, like the adoption of regenerative practices in farms, because to build a better future we need everybody to contribute. And every single one of us can make a difference.
What is organic?
Organic is food as it should be, and food you can trust.
Agriculture is one of humankind's most basic activities because all people need to feed themselves daily. History, culture, and community values are embedded in agriculture and impact the way people tend soils, water, plants and rear animals in order to produce, prepare and distribute food and other goods.
The Soil Association, its standards and activities, and the practice of organic farmers are all based on a set of internationally recognised principles. These principles are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops – Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care. They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context.
The Principle of Health - Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal and human as one and indivisible.
The Principle of Ecology - Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
The Principle of Fairness - Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
The Principle of Care - Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
These principles shape the way people interact with living landscapes and relate to one another, and build a lasting, sustainable legacy for future generations.
How can I get involved in Organic September?
Organic September is a key moment to raise awareness of the benefits of organic and the incredible efforts organic brands, farms, business and individuals make to support nature and wildlife and protect the planet. Here’s how you can join in:
Farmers: Join the #IGrowYourFood action day
- On 14 September, organic farmers around the world will take to social media to share their work and tell us how we can support them. Everyone’s invited to the conversation—and to amplify their voices!
- #IGrowYourFood invites everyone to the conversation! Organic and agroecological farmers share their first-hand experience to help decision-makers do the right thing, and citizens help make their voices heard.
- To find out more visit I Grow Your Food
Businesses: Campaign to grow the organic market
- Soil Association Certification are once again collaborating with the Organic Trade Board to deliver a compelling and emotive Organic September campaign that asks citizens to "listen to nature".
- Download the Organic September digital toolkit
Citizens: Make a pledge for the planet
- The way we farm and eat has a huge impact on the climate, nature and our health. The good news is we can all play a part in making sure that the food we choose and the way it's produced has a positive impact on the planet.
- The movement towards a world with good health, in balance with nature and a safe climate is growing and you can be a part of it. Whether you’re already doing some great things, or aren’t sure where to start, Soil Association pledges are here to guide you towards making small changes that make a big difference. So far over 8,600 pledges have been made from people all across the UK and beyond! From opting for organic to shopping locally and growing some of your own food, each small action adds up and helps build the movement towards a safer future. There are so many ways we can take action.
- Visit Soil Association site to make your pledge here
If you want to know more about anything you have read here or just want to share your story, then contact Soil Association at https://www.soilassociation.org/help-centre/
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