The Soil Association.

The soil association was founded in 1946 by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists who observed a direct connection between farming practices and plant, animal, human and environmental health.

Today the Soil Association is the UKs leading organic organisation with over 200 staff based in Bristol and Edinburgh and working as Certification Inspectors across the country.

In 1946 a group of far sighted individuals were concerned about the health implications of increasingly intensive agricultural systems following the second World War. Their principle concerns were---

a-The loss of soil through erosion and depletion.

b-Decreased nutritional quality of intensively produced food.

c- Exploitation of animals in intensive units.

d-impact of large intensive farming system in the countryside and on wildlife.

How right they were, examples of what they feared might materialise can be found in the Conservation issues of today which features on many pages of this site and the pages on many others.


History of the Soil Association

For the first thirty years the Association was based on a farm in Suffolk {England} and was primarily involved in basic research as well as building up a membership base. The farm was divided into three units, one farmed using the new intensive techniques, one farmed traditionally and one with mixed systems. at the end of this period the results were not as clear as been hoped { hardly surprising since we still have a poor understanding of what we truly mean  by health of land and food} , however, a much clearer understanding has been built up of how the best of the old and new traditions in land husbandry could be combined, and so the first organic standards were compiled defining the system.

The demand for organic food is increasing every year. About three quarters of organic food is currently sold through supermarkets. However, over the last few years the amount of organic food sold through box schemes, farmers markets and independent shops has been growing quickly as more people become concerned about freshness and food miles. 

A more detailed account of the Associations history can be found on their website. {see Links below.}

What is Organic ?

Organic is defined by the Association as being ----

FOOD YOU CAN TRUST---You can be safe in the knowledge that hydrogenated fats and controversial additives such as aspartane, tartazine and MSG are banned under organic standards.

BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT---Organic farming reduces pollution and green house gasses released from food production by restricting the use of artificial chemicals and fertilisers and pesticides.

WILDLIFE PROTECTION---Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for Birds bees and butterflies in fact, plant, insect and bird life is up 50% greater on organic farms.

Also on the subject of organic  farming there are pages on the site which review--

Organic animals.

Organic textiles. 

Organic beauty.

Organic standards. 

Organic principles. 

image courtesy of Hajhouse Public domain

Organic farming better for wildlife    


On the website there is a page which allows you to register to become a member. You may become a member of the Soil Association for as little as £2 per month per individual. {at the time of publication visit the site for any updated prices}

The membership subscription charge helps in many ways--

a-Improves animal welfare.

b-Saying no to GM crops and the cloning of animals.

c- Support local food inititives 

d-improve school meals for children and encourages them to cook and grow their own food.

Visit the membership page to view the benefits members are entitles too. 

Friends of the Soil Association.

Should you be inclined to pay £10 per month or more, you qualify as a "Friend of the Soil Association" which in addition to the usual membership benefits; you will receive additional personal reports twice a year on the work your extra support makes possible. To find out more visit the site via the Links page and click on Become a Friend.

Other pages on the site.---

There are also pages on the website about the funding of the Soil Association-

Good Food for All

Enabling Change.


Farmers and Growers

Certification, and much much more!

If you are concerned about the health of our countryside and indeed our own health as a species the site is well worth visiting. 

Monty Don.

Many gardeners and television viewers will be familiar with Monty Don. Monty is the president of the Association. Monty states---" I agreed to become President of the Soil Association because it is an organisation working to change the way we farm , grow , cook, eat and think about food. It is a charity dedicated to promoting the connection between healthy soil, healthy people, healthy animals and a healthy planet.

" Most people are familiar with the insane horror of modern, industrialised food production. The destruction of the rain forests for soya and sugar to fatten meat and people. The feedlots for cattle so stuffed with grain that they cannot digest, that their livers corrode and burst. The tons of good vegetables that are rejected daily for not being the right shape. But what people don't realise is that by changing their attitude towards our food we can bring the changes that we all know are needed."

Strong opinions from Monty applied with his passion for a better, safer, healthier world for us all.  


The site via Links banner.

Click on the links banner at the top of this page. Scroll down to Soil Association box. Click this is a direct link to the Soil Association website.

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The name of the relevant author must be attributed along with any accompanying license.

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