Exciting times are ahead

Helen Browning - 01 March 2012

Strategy representation Back in September I asked for feedback on the first iteration of our new group strategy, and I was delighted when so many people took the time to share their thoughts – through the blog comments, by email and in person. I was even more delighted that so much of the feedback was so positive – in general the vast majority of you said that our direction of travel seemed right, and this has given us real confidence in what we’re doing.

A strategy of course is all very well, but what you do is more important than what you say. So since the Autumn we’ve been busy working through how we’ll start to implement our ideas through our activities in the coming years, as well as refining the strategy document itself. And I’m excited to be able to share the final version of the Strategy in time for our conference tomorrow –  there are no huge changes, but some tweaks that reflect your feedback, and some further thinking of ours over the last few months.

As ever our conference is going to be busy – we’ll also be talking about our new report on feeding the world, as well as releasing our 2012 Organic Market Report – and alongside finalising the strategy, it really feels to me like the end of the beginning and the start of something new for the Soil Association – if you’re at conference I look forward to seeing you in person, and if not feel free to share your thoughts below or later on.

Helen Browning is the Soil Association's Chief Executive, and also is an organic farmer - she runs a 1,350 acre organic livestock and arable farm in Wiltshire. Her sausages and bacon can be found in the supermarkets, and her versatile team also run the village pub! Previously Director of External Affairs at the National Trust, Helen is also chair of the Food Ethics Council and was awarded an OBE in 1998 for services to organic farming.

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10 April 2012 11:15

In light of the findings of Can Organic Farming feed the world - that I have just read the highlights of in the Organic Farming Magazine - it will be interesting to know your stance on how specialist organic livestock units that feed grains or other arable crops (especially pigs and poultry) should work. Do you believe that the system you personally operate can be scaled up worldwide and be compatible with the recommendations of the report.

07 March 2012 18:46

Thank you for writing these timely articles. I work for a company (PermaMatrix) that makes an organic biotic soil amendment that addresses this very issue. Everything you spoke of here is at the very heart of why we do what we do. We have had awesome success so far and we attribute it to the enormous need to return the soil to nature's original design. We also don't see much benefit in current methods of topsoil relocation that disturb and pollute one location of soil to relocate it to another. We believe in restoring all of the soil on the earth by amending it organically instead of just moving all of the polluted and unpolluted soils around on the Planet. PermaMatrix duplicates the organic recipe of nature's most fertile soils. 95% of what is needed for plants to grow is already found on the earth. It is the 5% organic component that has been depleted. Also, PermaMatrix contains Biochar which actually acts like a Britta filter for the soil, filtering out pollutants. We are always please to read about others who understand and are as passionate about reversing the Earth's polluted soils as we are! Thanks again!

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