Nestled in the unspoiled beauty of the Isle of Mull, Island Bakery Organics produce a range of biscuits. Being organic is only part of the picture; their new factory building is powered entirely with local sources of renewable energy, including wind turbines and hydro electricity.
They use unique ovens to bake the biscuits, which are heated using wood from local, community owned woodland plantations. Not only is this environmentally sustainable, but the gentle heat gives the biscuits a slow, perfect bake.
“Why not upgrade your tea break to organic this September, by choosing one (or two!) of Island Bakery’s biscuits, to enjoy with a lovely cup of organic tea or coffee? You won’t be disappointed, and you can feel good (not guilty) about your treat” said Dawn Reade of Island Bakery Organics
Carley’s is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of organic nut, seed butters and chocolate spreads.
Carley’s started manufacturing because they wanted to produce a range of interesting and distinctive organic products initially just to sell in their own shop. Quite quickly friends in the area asked if they could supply them too and so a business was born – and Carley’s gained their organic licence in 1992 and now their products can be bought across Europe.
“We have always been advocates of the benefits of organic foods, and want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem!” says Carley’s website.
Not only are all of their products grown using organic farming principles, but the husband and wife duo, Alastair & Friederike Gower, ensure that cocoa bean farmers are treated fairly, gain better profits, and work with them to preserve local biodiversity. Six years ago, they opened up their first chocolaterie in Edinburgh’s boutique shopping district.
“Pesticide free agriculture allows midges to thrive and fertilize cacao flowers, helping the plants to create the cacao pods. Not only are organic techniques the best way to farm cacao, it is the only good use for a midge we have ever heard of!” said Alastair.
In one way or another, you’ve probably eaten Alara Cereals before – they make over half of our country’s organic cereals.
Alara is proud to have achieved many ethical ‘firsts’:
They were the first cereal company in the world to be certified Organic, first company licensed by the Coeliac Society, and the cereal company to be certified by the Fair Trade Foundation!
The company started with just £2 weekly profits, and after forty years, is still going strong.
A range of organic Mediterranean food that includes breadsticks and crackers, olive oils, sauces and pastas. Organico Realfoods has been supplying to the organic market for 23 years, sold in many well-known online and high- street organic stores.
They work with co-operatives and small companies that are often community or family enterprises. They are committed to looking out for the environment, local communities, and ensure their suppliers look out for their workers’ rights too.
“We know how important soil is for the nutritional content of food and crops, we also know that it has been so attacked with chemicals that major environmental degradation has occurred.
Organic agriculture and production is a method that protects the soil, but more than that it is regulated at every stage of production, which means that the organic soil benefits are not adulterated by non-organic production methods” said Organico.
Oxford-based Pigeon Organics make 100% certified organic baby clothes and organic gifts for babies. All its products are made exclusively from fairly traded textiles and manufactured in Nottingham by a small family-run firm. Founder and director Jane Shepherd plans to expand its range – currently for babies from birth to three years old to older children later this year.
Neal’s Yard Remedies is a multi-award-winning organic health and beauty company. With the help of Triodos Bank, Neal’s Yard Remedies has grown substantially and is now one of the UK’s leading organic brand offering the largest selection of organic, natural and chemical-free beauty products in the UK.
You can see a full list of the organic businesses we lend to on our website here.
Organic places to stay and go
Battlesteads is flying the flag for sustainable tourism. They use a carbon-neutral heating and hot water system for example, but have been most creative when looking at how best to interpret organic principles in business.
Beside the organic hotel garden which provides fresh fruit and vegetables for the kitchen throughout the year, they source organic products throughout the establishment – like organic toiletries in the hotel rooms.
They even use the empty toilet roll inners for potting seedlings, and their wormeries turn any food waste that they have into compost.
Based near Bude in Cornwall, Bangors Organic is in the perfect location for a long weekend away exploring the beauty of Cornwall. Bangors Organic is a Soil Association certified bed and breakfast – one of just three in the UK. All the fresh organic produce for the house and restaurant is grown on their five-acre grounds, and an 11kw wind turbine provides clean green energy to the house.
You can see a full list of the sustainable and organic places to stay and go on this article.
Peelham produces organic meat in the Scottish countryside, and are able to deliver boxes of their free range products around the UK.
Amanda, Chris and Denise have been farming partners for over 25 years, and have taken an academic approach to their practice: Bringing together backgrounds in Landscape Ecology and Agricultural Economics, as well as traditional farming and butchery methods.
Peelham Farm also offers a craft butchery course for those wanting to have hands-on experience in responsible butchery.
Delivered straight to your door, The Community Farm is a vegetable box scheme for Bristol and Bath, set within 34 acres in Chew Valley, Somerset. The Community Farm believes in increasing knowledge of growing, and are passionate about getting as many people involved in the organic movement as possible.
Through activities, courses and volunteer days they offer hands-on experience to people from all walks of life which not only gives them the opportunity to learn new skills but also allows them to reconnect to where their food comes from.
“By buying organic you can help to support nature. We grow food in a way that assists nature; providing natural habitats and food sources for wildlife to help increase biodiversity. So while you’re eating well, so are the birds and animals around you” said India Langley of The Community Farm.
Roger and Mary Mead moved to Holt Farms in 1961. It forms the centre of Yeo Valley’s organic farming business, Holt Farms. Today, Yeo Valley is the largest organic brand in the UK and number 73 in The grocer’s 2014 Top 100 Food Brands. Holt Farms produce three million litres of milk a year.
Triodos Bank helped fund the installation of a 500kW solar array and the establishment of an educational link between the conference centre, the farm and the Yeo Valley Organic Garden to demonstrate renewable energy projects, good agricultural, environmental practices and a sustainable and profitable farming system.
You can see a full list of the organic farms we lend to on our website here.
And Organic September would not be possible without the Soil Association, a charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. Working on the ground with schools, hospitals and with local authorities to improve their food – the Soil Association wants to ensure everyone has access to good quality, healthy food and tackle the huge public health challenges posed by changing diets.
Its not-for-profit subsidiary Soil Association Certification inspects and certifies the largest number of registered organic farms and businesses in the UK – as well as operating in 28 countries across the world.
During Organic September Look out for #OrganicSeptember and the Soil Associations tips, special offers and exclusive discounts from some of the UK’s biggest organic suppliers. You can also become part of the good food revolution by becoming a member of the Soil Association. Find out more.
Subscribe to The Colour Of Money
Keep up to date with the latest news and opinion on The Colour of Money. Subscribe and we'll let you know when we publish new articles.