Our Organic Story

When I started The Heritage Organic Seed Company it was to make an impact. There are multiple ways that I plan 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.

The story behind our organic business

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 we often overlook them. I knew that we had to approach things differently.

Alot of the seeds in garden centres and DIY stores are hybrid varieties which is a concern. Hybrids play too much to the larger corporations who tend to have a profit first approach. We have to ask ourselves why would a large company encourage us to save our own seed by selling heritage and heirloom types when they can encourage us to buy hybrids that we have no choice but to come back for year on year?

Our solution to the problem

Our solution to this problem in the short term is to promote heritage and heirloom varieties in a different way. We share the story behind our them. The aim is to make shopping for seeds a lot more fun. We hope it adds to the whole growing experience and encourages our customers to make stories and memories of their own. We want people to choose heritage and heirloom varieties first.

There was a huge gap in the market or organic seeds and we could not understand why. Our local garden centre has very few organic options. Garden centres we have visited in other countries have had whole sections devoted to organic seeds. The UK seems to be way behind in this area.

Organic is incredibly important for soil health. We are becoming more aware that a healthy, living soil can play a huge part in the fight against climate change.

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

Organic 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 we are really casting our vote in a wallet friendly way and becoming part of that positive planet impact. It is something accessible to everyone, regardless of the state of the economy.

What drove us to get organic certification

Organic certification is a major investment for a small business like this one. 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 the most recognised organic symbol for everyday consumers; a well-known symbol of trust.

The impact on our business by being organic

Our customers have loved the fact that our products proudly display the Soil Association organic logo. 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 be in full control of the food they grow.

How does being organic help us to meet sustainability challenges

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 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 were designing our packaging, it was really important that it had a luxury feel. I was actually pleasantly surprised that the packaging is 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 been audited at every level. I am not sure that people realise just how in depth the process is to become certified organic.

What does a sustainable food system look like to us in 50 years time

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. We are becoming more tuned in to how our food is grown and raised but 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. I would also love to see people having a better understanding of the importance of soil health. Soil health is important 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.