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Championing organic

River Cottage’s Julia Johnson explains why organic food and farming should be at the heart of any sustainable food system
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at River Cottage

Photos by Matt Austin

This article first appeared in our Organic September issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 08 September 2023. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

At River Cottage we celebrate all things organic, all year round – it is at the core of everything we do.

We are proud that our farm carries organic certification, accredited by the Soil Association, and is managed under Countryside and Environmental Stewardship, schemes run by Natural England.

These schemes help land managers look after natural habitats and biodiversity, in cooperation with food production.

We grow high-quality organic fruit and vegetables on 1.5 acres of the farm, providing a wide variety of produce for our kitchen all year round.

Our talented chefs make good use of the season’s harvest in our menus at the River Cottage Kitchen & Store, and at our dining events.

Grow your own

It’s no secret that Hugh’s a proud champion of organic, and it’s something that’s been engrained into the very essence of everything we do here at River Cottage for many years.

Provenance is a passion for our chefs; if you attend one of our cookery courses or dining events you will hear where your ingredients came from (if not from our own soil) and a little about why we believe eating seasonally and sustainably is not only important, but also tastes better.

We believe growing your own veg has the power to change your life. In these times of intensive farming, reliance on harmful pesticides and their detrimental impact on our environment, we need to be more reliant on our own patches of safe soil.

On our gardening courses, we teach people the importance of looking after soil health and lots of other organic tips and tricks to take away and start growing organic veg at home!

Organic, seasonal and local food at River Cottage

‘Organic is really important to us here at River Cottage – it’s how we raise our livestock, how we grow all our produce and it’s at the heart of all our cooking and teaching.

‘We love to show people how to cook and eat sustainably and affordably with organic produce. We’re also incredibly proud of our growing range of delicious organic products.’

River Cottage

River Cottage collaborations

We believe that the way we produce, source, package, distribute and consume food is intrinsically linked to our health, the environment, the economy and more.

So, in a bid to push for change – to innovate and nudge the food system even further in the right direction – we have collaborated with organic producers we respect and trust to create a thoughtful selection of organic food and drink products, including kefirs, kombuchas, yoghurts and ciders.

You can shop the River Cottage Organic range via Milk & More or Abel & Cole, and in Waitrose and selected independent retailers.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will host this year’s P.E.A. Awards and is looking forward to an evening celebrating and honouring the individuals and teams behind the products, services and businesses that are changing the face of our planet.

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