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Organic September – why choose organic?

This month is Organic September, but at Acorn Dairy, a commitment to organic farming is not just for one month – it’s for life. But why are we so dedicated to producing our award-winning milk and butter organically, without the use of harmful chemicals? In short, health of humans, animals and soil.


Customers often tell us that they can taste the difference in our dairy products, which we know is testament to the way we run our farm and, crucially, treat our 500-strong herd of Dairy Shorthorn cows. In practice, this means we farm at nature’s pace and have to adapt quickly when she doesn’t play ball.  Our cows graze outside and play a crucial part in a sustainable, organic rotation for our fields.  Healthy soils, abundant in microorganisms produce better crops and support more wildlife, which we want to see.


At Acorn, we’re always looking for more ways to work in harmony with the environment, adding to its richness as opposed to taking as much as possible at least cost- meaning our surroundings benefit just as much as our customers!


Best for the planet – better for you

To avoid the use of chemical-based fertilisers, we improve the fertility of our soil naturally by growing deep-rooting legumes, such as red clover and beans. Not only does this diet help our cows’ milk taste delicious, the legumes help to maintain a well-aerated, free-draining soil structure through their rooting system, as well as providing a natural fertiliser by fixing nitrogen from the air in a form other plants can use.


Farming organically has also dramatically increased the array of wildlife to be found on the farm; since we converted in 1998, insects and small birds have benefited from the increased hedgerow size and the absence of chemicals.


Sightings of kestrels, skylarks, sparrowhawks, curlews, fieldfares and herons have grown since we converted to organic farming, helping the eco-system’s natural balance.


Since 2012 we have sourced our energy from our on-site wind turbine, as well as bottling all milk in our own plant, on site, which keeps down those food miles, and offering glass bottles, cutting 425kg per week of plastic from the local food chain.


Worth the effort

As you can see from the above, organic farming is far from the easy choice, but we believe it’s worth it, both for the quality it results in and the benefits for the planet.


Our hard work has also paid off in the form of Soil Association accreditation, which means our farm and processes are inspected yearly – a clear signal of our commitment to do things the right way, for the benefit of wildlife, people and the planet.


In recent years, we have all become more aware of where our food comes from and how it is produced, and Soil Association organic standards go further in a number of areas, such as animal welfare and the environment, which means it’s an accreditation that you, the consumer, can trust to know you’re making a real difference.


Because when it comes to organic, why stop at September?

Caroline Bell

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