Our Organic Story

When I started The Heritage Organic Seed Company, I wanted to make an impact. There are multiple ways that I planned to do this and becoming certified organic was just one of them. We were able to achieve this in November 2022 which was really early on in our journey.

I have a passion for seeds. It has always blown my mind how a tiny seed can grow to produce an abundance of food for humans, soil, animals and insects. Seeds are absolutely vital to our future yet can often be overlooked so I knew that we had to approach things differently. So many seeds in garden centres and DIY stores are hybrid varieties which is a concern as it plays too much to the larger corporations who tend to have a profit first approach. Why would a large company encourage you to save your own seed by selling heritage and heirloom types when they can encourage you to buy hybrids that you have no choice but to come back for year on year?

Our solution to this problem in the short term is to promote heritage and heirloom varieties in a different way – by sharing the story behind them. The aim is to not only make shopping for seeds a lot more fun but we also hope that it adds to the whole growing experience and encourages you to make stories and memories of your own. We want people to choose heritage and heirloom varieties first.

We noticed a huge gap in the market or organic seeds and could not understand why. Our local garden centre has very few organic options compared to garden centres we have visited in other countries where there have been whole sections devoted to organic seeds. The UK seems to be way behind in this area. Organic is incredibly important for soil health and we are becoming more aware that a healthy, living soil can play a huge part in the fight against climate change.

For us, organic seeds are getting you involved in the organic movement from the very beginning. Why would you want to grow food using organic methods but then start your journey with a seed where you have no idea what type of environment it grew in or what chemicals could have been used on the mother plant.

Organic also means so much more than what we are growing or consuming. It is voting for a whole system of farming and soil care that benefits the planet as a whole. By buying organic seeds you are really casting your vote in a wallet friendly way and being part of that positive planet impact. It is something accessible to everyone, regardless of the state of the economy.

Organic certification is a major investment for a small business like mine but we became organically certified to practice what we preach and show just how important organic is to us. We chose to certify with the Soil Association as we believe it is one of the most recognised organic symbols for everyday consumers; a well-known symbol of trust.

Our customers have loved the fact that our products proudly display the Soil Association organic logo and the growth in revenue has been significant since we became certified. So many of our customers are allotment holders and want to grow organically from start to finish. We are providing them with the ability to do so which is putting them in full control of the food they grow.

By being organic we are giving our customers the opportunity to be a part of a major movement with every single packet of seeds they buy. It is not just a packet of seeds – it is voting for and supporting a whole farming and closed loop growing system. Our seed growers are managing their plots of land organically to grow our seeds and our customers are also using organic methods on their own land. Everyone is adding to the process and doing their bit to support soil health and biodiversity.

Our packaging is eco-friendly yet elegant. When we designed it, it was really important to us that it still felt luxury. I was actually pleasantly surprised that the packaging was such a big part of the organic certification process. It is reassuring for consumers to know that any product you buy with the Soil Association logo has really been audited at every level. I am not sure that people realise just how in depth the process is to become certified organic.

Looking ahead to the next 50 years, we would love to see food production and farming held in much higher regard than it is now. Intensive farming systems and the use of chemicals to grow our food is taking its toll on our soils and on our health. Customers are becoming more tuned in to how their food is grown and raised but I think there is still a long way to go. Food is taken for granted too often in the western world yet we saw just how fragile our food system was during the COVID pandemic. I would love to see composting being carried out in every household and see people in general having a better understanding of the importance of soil health not only for the food we produce but also as a means to capture carbon and help climate change. We simply cannot continue to produce food with a heavy use of artificial fertilizers. It is not healthy for people, the planet or biodiversity. We need to move away from the chemicals and let nature find it’s balance.